The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


The Truth and Reconciliation Committee was set up in the aftermath of apartheid to bring to the surface human rights abuses that took place in the apartheid era, through witness testimony and recount- ing of trauma. The TRC undoubtedly brought to the forefront the challenges of narrating and the reasons for remembering a contested and traumatic past. It is impossible to read David’s Story, which shifts temporally between Griqua efforts for self-determination and the South African liberation movement and foregrounds the act of telling, without taking into account the ambitious project of the TRC. This paper examines how history is made and articulated in David’s Story. Wicomb’s novel is a larger exploration in how stories are translated, transcribed and retold through multiple narrators and mediators, prompting readers to question the ownership and authority of written and oral histories.