n Institute of African Studies Research Review - (Re)negotiating home : exile / migrancy and return in Caryl Phillips' and Zakes Mda's

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



Using tenets of postcolonial theory, this paper draws from the premise that in 'return home' narratives, a common thematic frame is apparent based on the returnee's personal odyssey to answer the question: where do I belong? It aims at showing that the exilic / migrant experience problematises and complicates the issues of home and identity in the returning subject, who cannot, in the circumstances, recover a plenitudinous sense of 'home.' It argues that the returnee operating from an 'outsider' position, must rethink his identity on the 'voyage in.' It demonstrates that to be at home, means (re)negotiating the 'outsider' position in often new and innovative ways. The paper uses Caryl Phillips' and Zakes Mda's as springboard for its discussion.

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