A Fold in the Map

A Fold in the Map charts two very different voyages: a tracing of the dislocations of leaving one's native country, and a searching exploration of grief at a father's final painful journey.

A Fold in the Map charts two very different voyages: a tracing of the dislocations of leaving one’s native country, and a searching exploration of grief at a father’s final painful journey. In the first part of the collection, Plenty — “before the fold” — the poems deal with family, and longing for home from a new country, with all the ambiguity and doubleness this perspective entails. In the book’s
second half, Meet My Father, the poems recount events more life-changing than merely moving abroad — a father’s illness and death, the loss of some of the plenty of the earlier poems.

“A fold in the map” is a nod to Jan Morris’s Trieste And The Meaning Of Nowhere, where the traveller's state of in-between-ness is explored. In these poems of longing for home, family and other loved ones, Isobel Dixon draws on a rich store of natural imagery, illuminating the ordinary, at times with a touch of wry humour. These are accessible lyrical poems that will speak memorably to all those who have travelled, loved and lost.

“Maybe there was something in the water in Umtata, but Isobel Dixon was born with the gift of lyricism as natural speech. A measure of her accomplishment is that all the sense impressions of Africa, even if the reader has never actually been there, live naturally in her poetry as if it were the only landscape. The vivid surroundings of her childhood got into her rhythms and her phrases. A second, perhaps sadder story, springs from that. She is looking back to something lost, even as she continues to engage in the history of the land where she was born. She has the language for her political situation, too, and for a third story, about her father’s death, she has the language of deep grief a longing, beyond mere nostalgia, for both a childhood and a homeland.” – Clive James


About the Author
Isobel Dixon
was born in Umtata, South Africa, grew up in the Karoo region and studied in Stellenbosch, and then in Edinburgh, before the world of publishing lured her to work in London. She now lives in Cambridge. Her poetry has been widely published in South Africa, where she won the Sanlam Prize and the Olive Schreiner Prize for her collection Weather Eye. Internationally, her work has been published in The Paris Review, Wasafiri, Avocado, The Guardian, London Magazine, and The Tall Lighthouse Review, among others, and has been translated into Dutch and Turkish. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, including several of the British Council New Writing volumes, and she read on the first Oxfam Life Lines CD. She does regular readings around the country, often with a group of London-based poets, and has also participated in two group pamphlets Unfold and Ask for It by Name.

Click here to visit the Isobel Dixon website

Isobel is currently featured on the Contemporary Writers section of the British Council website

Parameters of Book: Book
Author: Isobel Dixon
ISBN: 9781770095281
Size (mm): 210 x 135mm
Pages: 88pp
format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White
Rights: South Africa
Language: English
Publication Date: 2007-01-01