by Catherine Okoronkwo
Black Pelican is a memoir that explores the challenges of being brought up on more than one continent as a Third Culture Kid. Okoronkwo describes her unusual experiences as a black African, of Igbo heritage, who navigates a very white world. This narrative (a work in progress) combines factual information, lived experiences and reality-based settings. Told from a fictional point-of-view, the work tells her story of growing up in the Middle East, spending summers in Nigeria, and later studying and living in the West (USA and UK). This is a memoir of displacement, dislocation and multiple reinventions. The narrative blends nonfiction and fiction, relying on the oral stories of her ancestors. In blending these genres, and experimenting with Nigerian folklore, the memoir endeavours to push boundaries and offer a personal transnational story that resonates with a wide readership.
Catherine Okoronkwo holds an MA with distinction and PhD in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her collection of poetry, Blood and Water, is published by Waterloo Press (2020). Black Pelican is a memoir reflecting her Third Culture upbringing in the Middle East, Nigeria and the West.