Charne Lavery, Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Pretoria (South Africa), presented her book Writing Ocean Worlds: Indian Ocean Fiction in English (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) in our Greenhouse environmental humanities book talk series on Monday, 5 December 2022, 16:00 in Norway / 17:00 in South Africa.
This book explores the Indian Ocean world as it is produced by colonial and postcolonial fiction in English. It analyses the work of three contemporary authors who write the Indian Ocean as a region and world—Amitav Ghosh, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Lindsey Collen—alongside maritime-imperial precursor Joseph Conrad. If postcolonial literatures are sometimes read as national allegories, this book presents an account of a different and significant strand of postcolonial fiction whose geography, in contrast, is coastal and transoceanic. This work imaginatively links east Africa, south Asia and the Arab world via a network of south-south connections that precedes and survives European imperialism. The novels and stories provide a vivid, storied sense of place on both a local and an oceanic scale, and in so doing remap the world as having its centre in the ocean and the south.