by Igiaba Scego

Adua, a Somali exile in Rome, recounts (to the Bernini elephant fountain) her failed efforts to become a movie star and her troubled relationship with her now deceased interpreter father Zoppe. In flashback chapters, Zoppe describes the racial violence he suffered in Italy during the 1934 Italian Abyssinian conflict and his return to Somalia. Will Adua now also return to Somalia to reclaim her family property? A sad but beautiful first novel.


A big storm was beating down on our camp when the man with the red beard entered our tukul.
That's how things began with my father. That's how I met him, little elephant. That was the last happy day of my life. I was seven or eight years old at most.
Translated by Jamie Richards


The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives by Viet Nguyen (ed)

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