If anyone had told me a year ago that I would be published in The Rumpus—along with the likes of Roxane Gay, Rick Moody, Cheryl Strayed, Steve Almond, et al—I would have thought I was dreaming. Yet, thanks to Creative Strategist, Ben Tanzer, it turns out to be wonderfully true!
Bifurcated—from the Medieval Latin word for two-pronged—encapsulates for me the experience of being an immigrant; I tend to feel as if I have two countries, but no home. Although I prefer to think of this as being spoiled for choice with more than one country to choose from, there’s no doubt that my heart is in Africa, while my head is in America—and sometimes vice versa.
To add to the dichotomy, I’ve been spanning two centuries lately, as I’ve searched for the story of my English great-great grandmother, who planted our family in South Africa in the early 1800s. To borrow from Joan Didion’s phrase, I tend to read, “to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” So over the past few years, as I’ve been writing about my divided life, I’ve found myself drawn to books that explore a duality of place or time, and sometimes both.
Read the whole list of books, including titles by Trevor Noah, Edmund de Waal, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and many more here, at The Rumpus.