Community Fellow, October - November 2020
Dr Margie Orford is the author of the internationally acclaimed Clare Hart novels, a literary crime series, which have been translated into ten languages and are currently being developed as a television series, and of a number of books of non-fiction. She has written several children’s books, is an award-winning journalist, has published a number of scholarly articles on Namibian and South African literature, representation and gender-based violence, and was an editor of Coming on Strong, Namibian Women’s Writing and of Women Writing Africa, the southern volume. A Civitella Ranieri fellow and a Fulbright scholar, Dr Orford is an honorary fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford and has a PhD from the University of East Anglia. She was writer in residence at the University of York in 2015, a judge in 2019 for the AKO Caine Prize for African Literature, the patron of Rape Crisis in South Africa, president of PEN South Africa, a member of the executive board of PEN International. She is a co-author of the PEN International Women’s Manifesto [https://pen-international.org/who-we-are/manifestos/the-pen-international-womens-manifesto], and serves on the Advisory Board of the Johannesburg Review of Books.
While I am an IASH fellow, I will be working on my memoir, which is titled "Jumping Ship" and is due to be published in 2021. This work of creative non-fiction – a work that focuses on the embodiment of memory – weaves together my private and public lives. I examine how the somatic experiences of gender, race, power, violence and trauma shaped my activism, my writing, and my intimate life. I tell this story because a woman bearing witness to her own experience in public is a political act. An extract titled Harmflesh was published in 2019 by Granta magazine and can be read here [https://granta.com/harmflesh/].