This is the first book on the fiction of Zoë Wicomb, a writer long at the forefront of the South African canon and whose international stature was firmly secured with the award of an inaugural Windham Campbell prize at Yale in 2013. It brings together interdisciplinary essays from the UK, USA, South Africa, and Australia, demonstrating Wicomb’s importance as a novelist, short-story writer, and critic. The central focus of the volume is the translocal, a term that navigates the complex and shifting relations between disparate localities, respecting the situatedness of each locality within its immediate geopolitical context, while investigating the connections and contrasts that operate between them. In Wicomb’s case, her work stems from a dual allegiance to two localities, both in her fiction as in her life: South Africa’s Western Cape and the west of Scotland. In tracking the relations, contemporary and historical, between these sites, her fiction reveals a consistent interest in and interrogation of home and belonging, space and place; it also offers telling insights into questions of race and gender. The historical processes of colonization and migration that have produced translocal connections of this kind are central to postcolonial studies, to which this book makes a significant contribution. Exploring the visual and cartographical, and extending debates on the transnational and cosmopolitan that are currently taking place across disciplines, including literary studies, geography, history, politics, and anthropology, the collection covers the range of Wicomb’s work. It also features an unanthologised essay by Wicomb herself, an interview, and a suite of photographs by Sophia Klaase, whose images of Namaqualand inspired Wicomb’s most recent novel, October.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Zoë Wicomb’s Translocal: Troubling the Politics of Location
Chapter 3. The Urge to Nowhere: Wicomb and Cosmopolitanism
Chapter 4. ‘No Escape from Home’: History, Affect and Art in Zoë Wicomb’s Translocal Coincidences
Chapter 5. ‘Travelling Light’: Images (via Wicomb) from the Gifberge to Glasgow
Chapter 6. Zoë Wicomb’s Telescopic Visions: You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town & October
Chapter 7. Roamin’ the Gloamin’: Scottish Ghosts of Griqualand in Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story
Chapter 8. History, Critical Cosmopolitanism and Translocal Mobility in the Fiction of Zoë Wicomb
Chapter 9. Lost and Found: Zoë Wicomb, Thomas Pringle and the Translocal in
Scottish–South African Literary Relations
Chapter 10. Glasgow’s Empire Exhibition and the Interspatial Imagination in ‘There’s the Bird That Never Flew’
John Miller and Mariangela Palladino
Chapter 11. Scenes from Namaqualand
Introduction by Rick Rohde
Chapter 12. Unsettling Homes and the Provincial-cosmopolitan Point of View in Zoë Wicomb’s October
Chapter 13. My Name is HannaH: Arthur Nortje Memorial Lecture
Chapter 14. Zoë Wicomb in Conversation with Derek Attridge
Notes on Contributors
Kai Easton is Senior Lecturer in English at SOAS University of London, UK.
Derek Attridge is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York, UK.