Mineke Schipper (b. 1938) was Professor of Intercultural Literary Studies at the University of Leiden. She has professorships in Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and China. She received a Dutch knighthood for ‘building intercultural bridges nationally and internationally, inside and outside the academy’ and continues her scholarly work at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society. She wrote Widows as a recent widow herself.