oa Alternation - Fictions of Home and (Un)belonging: Diasporan Frameworks in Michelle Cliff's Abeng and Zoe Wicomb's 'Journey to the Gifberge'

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



The prologue and epilogue framing Rosemary George's The Politics of Home (1996), claim provocatively that 'All fiction is homesickness', and 'All homesickness is fiction'. This highlights the notion that home is not a real place as much as it is an imagined one; moreover, it is the desire for that always deferred location that shapes and is shaped by fiction: as George puts it, 'fictionality is an intrinsic aspect of home' (1996:11). While fictions of exile - whether exile is chosen or enforced - have traditionally focused on the cultural alienation and personal isolation resulting from such displacements, a powerful counter-trend has emerged which balances this sense of unbelonging against a kind of 'newness' that is made possible through such translocations.

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