Playing in the Light by Zoe Wicomb
A Novel

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By the Windham Campbell Prize winner

Set in a beautifully rendered 1990s Cape Town, Zoë Wicomb’s celebrated novel revolves around Marion Campbell, who runs a travel agency but hates traveling, and who, in post-apartheid society, must negotiate the complexities of a knotty relationship with Brenda, her first black employee. As Alison McCulloch noted in the New York Times, "Wicomb deftly explores the ghastly soup of racism in all its unglory—denial, tradition, habit, stupidity, fear—and manages to do so without moralizing or becoming formulaic."

Caught in the narrow world of private interests and self-advancement, Marion eschews national politics until the Truth and Reconciliation Commission throws up information that brings into question not only her family’s past but her identity and her rightful place in contemporary South African society. "Stylistically nuanced and psychologically astute" (Kirkus), Playing in the Light is as powerful in its depiction of Marion's personal journey as it is in its depiction of South Africa's bizarre, brutal history.

About Zoe Wicomb

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Wicomb was born and raised in South Africa. After 20 years in Britain she returned to South Africa in the early 1990's to teach at the University of Western Cape. She currently teaches at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.
Published May 10, 2011 by New Press, The. 218 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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MCTravel’s first black employee, Brenda treads “a delicate boundary between respect and mockery” before erupting over the staff’s myopia regarding the country’s troubled history: “You couldn’t imagine yourself then as one of the underdogs.” Shortly thereafter, Marion manages a fender-bender with ...

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