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Excavating Diaspora: An Interview Discussing Elleke Boehmer's Novel Nile Baby

Excavating Diaspora: An Interview Discussing Elleke Boehmer's Novel Nile Baby

Chapter:
(p.248) Chapter 14 Excavating Diaspora: An Interview Discussing Elleke Boehmer's Novel Nile Baby
Source:
Africa in Europe
Author(s):
John MastersonElleke Boehmer
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846318474.003.0014

Elleke Boehmer’s Nile Baby (2008) is a novel which explores the layers of the African presence in Britain through the story of two London children who steal a preserved foetus which they believe to be the child of a black First World War soldier. The protagonists’ debates around what to do with their find, their relationships with their families and the discoveries they make about themselves, their own histories and the history of Africans in Britain as they attempt to return the foetus to its ‘home’ constitute an extended reflection on the interpenetration of cultures and the permutations of diasporic identity. John Masterson discusses with Elleke Boehmer the making of the novel, considered both as a creative approach to the challenge of narrating transnational connections and experiences and as the work of a distinguished postcolonial critic who is also a white African.

Keywords:   Nike Baby, children, novel, Britain, postcolonial, white African, Elleke Boehmer, John Masterson

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