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Adua - paperback


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Adua, an immigrant from Somalia to Italy, has lived in Rome for nearly forty years. She came seeking freedom from a strict father and an oppressive regime, but her dreams of becoming a film star ended in shame. Now that the civil war in Somalia is over, her homeland beckons. Yet Adua has a husband who needs her, a young man, also an immigrant, who braved a dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. When her father, who worked as an interpreter for Mussolini’s fascist regime, dies, Adua inherits the family home. She must decide whether to make the journey back to reclaim her material inheritance, but also how to take charge of her own story and build a future.


“Utterly sublime. Igiaba Scego strikes the perfect balance between melancholy humor and simmering rage. Adua tells a gripping story of war, migration and family, exposing us to the pain and hope that reside in each encounter.”
—Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

“Lovely prose and memorable characters make this novel a thought-provoking and moving consideration of the wreckage of European oppression.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Lucid and forthright … examines the linked consequences of Italian colonization, instability in 1970s Somalia, and the current refugee crisis in Europe … an illuminating work appropriate for a wide range of readers.”
—Library Journal (Starred Review)

“A memorable, affecting tale … brings the decolonialization of Africa to life … all the more affecting for being told without sentimentality or self-pity.”
—Foreword Reviews