Dr. Arianna Dagnino, Sessional Lecturer of Italian Studies at UBC, speaks about colonial history, collective guilt, reconciliation and transcultural issues in her latest fiction novel “The Afrikaner.”
Tell us about The Afrikaner.
The Afrikaner is a South African odyssey set in the year 1996 during the critical transitionary period between the apartheid to the first democratically elected Black government. Its main character, a young woman named Zoe du Plessis, is a paleontologist of Afrikaner descent. Through Zoe’s story and the way she confronts her Afrikaner heritage and sense of “group guilt”, the book talks about South Africa as a whole — with its Black and White communities, and all that stands in between.
Confronting her family’s secret rooted in the colonial history of the country, Zoe embarks on a scientific expedition to the hot plains of the Kalahari Desert. It is the beginning of an inner journey that will lead her to meaningful encounters with a Bushmen tribe, a troubled writer, a former fighter in the Border War, and the secret diaries of her female ancestors.
See the whole interview here: https://fhis.ubc.ca/news/newsletter/the-afrikaner-by-arianna-dagnino/