A Change of Perspective: Sharon Dodua Otoo’s Playful Rule-Breaking

Jesse van Amelsvoort, University of Amsterdam
Vol. 41, No. 2 (Fall 2022), 285-300

This article reads Sharon Dodua Otoo’s fictional oeuvre as a creative and playful encounter with issues of belonging, inclusion, and the limitations of our partial perspectives. In her novellas—from the English-language the things i am thinking while smiling politely (2012) and Synchronicity (2015) to the German-language Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin (2020)—Otoo interrogates how we see, understand, and make sense of the world around us. The article examines Otoo’s use of humor and play to subtly tease and mock notions of Germanness and German identity. Humor offers a reprieve from stringent identity constructions but is never toothless; Otoo’s playfulness explores serious ethical, political, and epistemological questions.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]