Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile

Marc Robinson, Editor Faber & Faber $26.95 (415p) ISBN 978-0-571-19829-0
Many of the exiled or expatriate writers in this superb anthology forged a new sense of self through immersion in their adoptive country. South African Breyten Breytenbach, a naturalized French citizen since 1983, calls exile ``a blessing in disguise'' that forces one to jettison cliches and stereotypes. For Barbados-born Austin Clarke, who has lived in Canada for four decades, relocation led him to evaluate his native culture through foreign eyes. Robinson ( The Other American Drama ) skillfully splices essays, letters, journal entries, excerpts from memoirs and random jottings by Plutarch, Victor Hugo, Thomas Mann, Marina Tsvetaeva, Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Edward Said, Kay Boyle, Julio Cortazar, Czeslaw Milosz and others. Rich in insight, these meditations on the solitude, freedom, joys and trials of exile variously echo Australian-born novelist Janet Frame's observation, quoted here, that ``all writers--all beings--are exiles as a matter of course'' since we all cope with life as a succession of expulsions and displacements. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Paperback - 415 pages - 978-0-15-600389-6
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