To the Volcano has been reviewed by Susan Osborne in her blog A Life in Books. An excerpt:
These are insightful, intelligent stories full of characters pursuing their dreams but often meeting with disappointment, unable to make a decisive move, pulled back by a longing for home or an inability to escape their past and often left lonely as a result. An enjoyable collection, written with a quietly perceptive insight.
La ragazza che parlava Zulu e altri racconti has just been published in Italy by Historica! This collection is an Italian translation of Elleke’s book of short stories, Sharmilla, and Other Portraits, which was first published in 2010 by Jacana.
Una giornata di giochi e gare a scuola fa esplodere il mondo di Aggie. Un padre tenta di portare in Africa qualcosa dell’Europa con l’aiuto della figlia. Un’anziana scrittrice riflette sulle esperienze della propria vita per comprenderne le conseguenze. La ragazza che parlava zulu e altri racconti offre una vasta gamma di ritratti di persone comuni e mette in scena bambini che giocano, madri che chiacchierano, gente che lavora, un addetto della sicurezza allo stadio, la segretaria di un ufficio, un ammalato di AIDS: tutti conducono la propria vita sullo sfondo di una nazione che cambia. I ritratti intrigano per la loro umanità, per il realismo delicato delle relazioni e la concretezza dell’agire. I piccoli mondi quotidiani dei protagonisti compongono la storia di un’intera nazione – la rainbow nation come si è chiamato il Sudafrica democratico – e si collegano a luoghi e tempi lontani da quelli descritti. Parlano al nostro presente e aprono prospettive diverse per osservarlo.
Elleke’s short story ‘Supermarket Love’ has been commended by the judges of the 2019 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize out of a long-list of ten. Elleke will fly to Melbourne to attend the awards ceremony on 11 September 2019.
Elleke is at the 2019 ACLALS conference in Auckland, where she will give a keynote address and launch her new book of short stories, To The Volcano.
The keynote, entitled “On Decolonization: the radical power of literary thinking”, will take place at 9am on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, with the book launch following over lunch the same day at 1pm.
Many humanities disciplines including literary studies have been rocked in recent times by movements to decolonize the syllabus—to open curricula to writing from ‘the outside’, including the global margins, or to the commons in its broadest sense. For many, these moves have been seen as affronting and even alarming, threatening our understanding of literature as it has conventionally been received and taught. In this talk I want rather to suggest that decolonization represents an opportunity, an opening and shaking of settled perceptions. Moves to decolonize are particularly an opportunity for those of us involved in writing and reading texts, perhaps especially postcolonial texts, because of what I call the radical power of literary thinking. In the body of the talk I will explore in more detail what I mean by this, drawing on work by Mzobe, Okorafor, Evaristo, and others.
A new review of Indian Arrivals has been published in the Winter 2019 issue of Victorian Studies (vol. 61, no. 2). Some highlights from Sukanya Banerjee’s review:
Focussing especially on poetry, Boehmer’s study reorients our reading of the Anglo-Indian metropolitan encounter in ways that will have significant bearing not only on our study of colonial relations …. , but also on our reckoning of literary history.
The literary and formal dimensions of metropolitan collaborations need more critical attention, an endeavour that this book invites.
This double temporality adds resonance to the book and serves as an instance of the writerly touch with which it is written (Boehmer is also an acclaimed novelist). Indeed, while Indian Arrivals offers much with which to engage, it also makes for very engaging reading. It twins impressive archival research with an imaginative handling of the material.
We’re delighted to announce that Elleke Boehmer was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature on Monday 24 June 2019. Elleke signed her name alongside those of the other new Fellows, including celebrated writers Mary Beard, Stephen Fry, Vahni Capildeo and Monica Ali.
The Royal Society of Literature has some 600 Fellows. They include the very best novelists, short-story writers, poets, playwrights, biographers, historians, travel writers, literary critics and scriptwriters at work today. (Royal Society of Literature website)