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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Madness and the store: representations of settler society in Doris Lessing's 'The grass is singing' and Daphne Rooke's 'A grove of fever trees'
Author:Hooper, Myrtle
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Geographic terms:South Africa
About persons:Doris May Lessing (1919-2013)
Daphne Rooke
Abstract:The aim of this article is to develop a mode of reading the South African writer Daphne Rooke that both registers the characteristics of her writing and locates her fiction in a broader frame of colonial writing. It focuses on 'A grove of fever trees' (1950), which is compared with Doris Lessing's 'The grass is singing' (1950). Features these novels share are the 'madness' of the central character and the trope of the 'store'. The 'madness' of the two central protagonists and the relations that can be recognized between the central characters and the store offer a point of entry for an examination of the subject positions assumed by the writers in relation to the communities they describe. The conclusion is that Rooke's willingness to experiment and to challenge allows her greater narrative freedom than Lessing's rather grim commitment to exposure and denunciation, and that these differences may well be associated with processes of affiliation and, as such, be rooted in the biographical. Bibliogr.