What is a Nobody Nowhere ?

Personal Space by Donna Williams

I guess the first place to start is the question of 'what is a Nobody Nowhere'?

Most people don't know that the original title of the book Nobody Nowhere was actually 'Dolly'. I called it that because a large part of my identity had been about the clash between appearing 'like a doll', being treated 'like a doll' and knowing that inside boy oh boy was I far far beyond being anyone's doll.

I was asked to change the title and I suggested 'Nobody Nowhere', the title of a poem I had written in my 20s. A 'Nobody Nowhere' was a term for a person who nobody really knew, who lived inside of themselves, not really letting the world connect with them, living 'at a distance', detatched from the body, the mind, the presence they had in the external world, what I called 'THE world'.

A Nobody Nowhere was someone who balanced that prison-sanctuary of one's own world, walking that fine line between the solace of being unknown, invisible, self contained and still so full of passion that you almost want to break through and scream and wave and dance and cry in all your idiosyncracy (and hopefully not get locked up for doing so)... so its maybe like in that Beatles song, Nowhere Man... all I can say is that a Nobody Nowhere is a hard thing to describe but having been one and become famous AS one is surely one of life's strangest ironies.

And a 'the worlder'?

I wrote a lot about 'the worlders'. To start with, most people have no idea how to pronounce this. It's said 'THE worlder' (like 'thee'.....like when some people say 'THE end' with that kind of fanfare tone). I didn't use the standard 'the' type of pronounciation because it wasn't that 'the worlders' were part of the external world ('the world') and I was part of my internal world ('my world'... and we all have one... and if you haven't then find one because a bit of one at least is really healthy... just going overboard either way isn't).

So a 'THE worlder' was actually someone who was into 'appearances', 'status', competition, heirachy, one-up-manship, recognition, admiration, attention... the surfacy stuff that half of society pursues and a corner of the world finds utterly bizarre and foreign. Yeah, the world WAS full of 'THE worlders' but I used to think that everyone who lived mostly in the 'external world' (the so called 'real world') was a 'THE worlder' so I'd kind of written them all off when ironically it was folks like me had no real worth to them. That was before I discovered all the really nice people in 'the world' who were NOT 'THE worlders', that a lot of the 'THE worlders' were lost and not too happy with themselves anyway and that, in any case, there were a lot of people who were pretty happy to learn how to 'simply be'.

So Nobody Nowhere took people face to face with the greatest ugliness and beauty of real people through a backdrop of childhood and nostalgia, magic and brutality, homelessness and alienation, degredation and triumph.

From Nobody Nowheres to The Worlders, from the lemony degoitzian to the Gadoodleborgonian, from boggledee jumble to relative symmetry, the Nobody Nowhere series, including Nobody Nowhere, Somebody Somewhere, Like Color To The Blind and Everyday Heaven, is a journey into another world in which people ironically come face to face with themselves.

See you there.

... Donna Williams *)