A Fold In The Map

A Fold in the Map

Isobel Dixon

Price £9.99

ISBN: 9781911027140

eISBN: 9781913437848

Date:  26 July 2018

Format: Paperback

Extent: 72 pp



We are delighted to re-issue Isobel Dixon's A Fold in the Map, first published in 2008.

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. The first part, ‘Plenty’, deals with family, and a yearning view of home from a new country, with all the ambiguity and doubleness this perspective entails. In the book’s moving second half, ‘Meet My Father’, we encounter events more life-changing than merely moving abroad – a father’s illness and death, the loss of that earlier plenty.

The title A Fold in the Map is a nod to a phrase in Jan Morris’s Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, which describes the traveller’s state of in-betweenness. In these poems of love and longing for home, family, and other loved ones, Isobel Dixon draws on a store of sensuous natural imagery, illuminating the ordinary, often with a touch of wry humour. Her accessible contemporary lyricism will speak memorably to those who have travelled, loved and lost.

Praise for A Fold in the Map:

‘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

‘One of the finest South African poets writing today. Dixon’s remarkable work chronicling her father’s illness and death brings to mind Margaret Atwood’s poems written for her own dying father.’ – Kylie Thomas, Mail & Guardian

Isobel Dixon grew up in South Africa, where her debut, Weather Eye, won the Olive Schreiner Prize. She studied in Edinburgh and now lives in Cambridge, returning frequently to her family home in the Great Karoo. Her further collections are A Fold in the MapBearings and The Tempest Prognosticator, which J.M. Coetzee described as ‘a virtuoso collection’. Mariscat published her pamphlet The Leonids, and Nine Arches publish A Whistling of Birds in June 2023.  She co-wrote and performed in the Titanic centenary show The Debris Field (with Simon Barraclough and Chris McCabe) and has worked with composers, filmmakers and artists. Her work is recorded for the Poetry Archive. www.isobeldixon.com

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