Meet your African writer: Zoë Wicomb

Posted on August 22, 2016

The Department of English, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, cordially invites you to attend this event.

Date: Thursday, 1 September 2016
Time: 09:30 – 11:00
Venue: Auditorium, Level 3, Merensky 2 Library, Hatfield Campus

More about our writer:
Zoë Wicomb grew up in small-town Namaqualand, went to Cape Town for high school, attended the University of the Western Cape, and after graduating left South Africa for England in 1970, where she continued her studies. She returned to South Africa in 1990, where she taught for three years in the department of English at the University of the Western Cape. Since 1994 she has lived in Glasgow, where she was, until her retirement in 2009, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde. Wicomb gained attention in South Africa and internationally with her first work, a collection of short stories. You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town (1987), is partly autobiographical. Her first novel, David's Story (2000), is set partly in 1991 toward the close of the apartheid era and explores the role of coloureds and women in the military wing of the ANC, and the challenges of adjustment to the realities of the 'New South Africa'. Playing in the Light (2006), her second novel, is set in mid-1990s Cape Town and tells the story of Marion Campbell, the daughter of a coloured couple who succeeded in passing for white, as she comes to learn their painful story and to reassess her own place in the world of post-apartheid South Africa. Wicomb's second collection of short stories, The One That Got Away, is set mainly in Cape Town and Glasgow and explores a range of human relationships: marriage, friendships, family ties and relations with servants. Wicomb's third novel, October, was published in 2015; its central character, Mercia Murray, returns from Glasgow to Namaqualand to visit her brother and his family and to face the question of what 'home' means. Wicomb's taut prose speaks to the South African experience in ways that evoke the particular, but also illuminate the complexities of our shared histories.


Target audience: UP staff and students
RSVP electronically by Wednesday 31 August 2016
Enquiries: [email protected] or 012 420 3519

- Author Zenzile Msweli

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