Paul Woodgate has written a wonderful review of To the Volcano for The Short Story. Here’s an excerpt:
Each story, delivered with a minimal grace and a compassionate eye for all points of view, offers a new angle. Powerful, touching and razor-sharp, they provide multiple entry points to view the complex morality change places on us as individuals and the societies we inhabit. Whichever way you turn these stories, the light of experience is clear to see and the emotion rings true.
Homi Bhabha has reviewed Postcolonial Poetics for Critical Inquiry. Some highlights include:
It is difficult to do justice, in a brief review, to a book as detailed and deliberative as Postcolonial Poetics. Elleke Boehmer’s literary readings range across diverse literatures, many identified with the global south, but almost all of them breaking the bounds of cultural containment while crossing the limits of sovereign territorial borders. [. . .] The score of a work––its range of voices, its tonal transformations, its mediations of mobility, its orchestration of cultural signs and political dissonances––far exceeds its adherence to any ideological or political core.
Boehmer is a distinguished novelist and poet. From her subtle writing we learn the virtue of waiting and watching for the story to appear in its own time. Boehmer’s poetics generate their own warmth and weather, and her gift lies in her ability to allow works of literature to bear fruit in the seasons of their becoming.
This excerpt comes from a piece by Elleke that appeared in the South African Sunday Times on 15 March 2020.
Southern light – anyone who has experienced it recognises instantly – the blazing, concentrated, white-blue light of the southern hemisphere. It bakes the short stories in To the Volcano, which are set in Argentina, South Australia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This light is in many ways their ultimate source.
In my youth, Durban-born, I always took this light for granted, that is, until suddenly I didn’t have it any more. I had moved to a place 51 degrees north and never thought how much I’d miss it. I’ve spent my time since working my way back to it.
Elleke’s short stories will be featured in the 14 January 2020 edition of Blackwell’s Short Stories Aloud – The most fun you can have in a bookshop on a Tuesday night.
Listen to actors read short stories read by our guest authors. This month we are joined by Julie Mayhew, author of ‘Impossible Causes’, and Elleke Boehmer, ‘To The Volcano and Other Stories’ . After hearing short stories (and eating some cake) there will be questions from Sarah Franklin, author of ‘Shelter’, and the audience.