Welcome Home, Prodigy
Keywords:Prodigal son, cosmopolitanism, returnee, immigration, Covid-19
Drawing from the author’s childhood confusion over whether ‘prodigal’ means profligate or prodigious, this intervention anticipates the politicisation of returning New Zealand citizens. Written during lockdown, the intervention contrasts predictions of a great repatriation and pundits’ nationalistic revelling in the country’s success at containing the virus with the history of the ‘coming home’ essay and song. Stephen’s argues for a pre-consideration of the emotional states that might be provoked by the returnee. That pre-consideration is aimed at drawing the returnee into the collective, not for the sake of an enlarged spirit of the nation, but for the advancement of Left collective action.