“There are more than two options in this world”: The Challenge of Liminality in Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers
The paper intends to analyse Kirsty Logan’s much acclaimed debut novel, The Gracekeepers (2015), by focusing attention on its spatial dimension, particularly on the key-concept of liminality (Klapcsik 2011). Logan’s imaginary topography draws inspiration on her home landscapes, the fascinating harsh environments of the Scottish islands and seacoast, while the fantastic side of the story owes much to Celtic myths and folklore; yet, the novel transcends local colour to provide a universal allegory of contemporary times and their harsh conflicts. The story is set in a dystopian flooded world suspended between land and sea, with the former inhabited by an elitist minority, the “landlockers,” while 90% of the population, the so-called “damplings,” struggle for daily survival on boats. The investigation of the spatial dimension, however, reveals that this rigid dichotomous structure is in fact undermined by a number of liminal places where characters from different worlds actually meet and exchange experience. The two female protagonists – Callanish and North, a landlocker and a dampling respectively – are destined to bridge all gaps, and their “liminal” love is intended to mark the beginning of a new approach to reality, based on the acceptance of difference, contamination, and hybridity as the only way to salvation. Thus, the novel ends up challenging both realism and fantasy by engaging in a thorough rethinking of boundaries, of clear-cut distinctions between worlds, genders, and even literary genres.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Roberta Ferrari, "'There are more than two options in this world': The Challenge of Liminality in Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers", in "Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere 23 (2018)", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018, pp. 169-193
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale