Adua by Igiaba Scego

Adua

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.

Extract

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.

Parallels
  • Children of the Revolution by Dinaw Mengestu
  • The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives by Viet Nguyen (ed)

Books with similar mood

The Blindman's Garden

Nadeem Aslam

Cinnamon

Samar Yazbek

The Last Quarter of the Moon

Chi Zijian

In the Beginning was the Sea

Tomás González

The Last Kestrel

Jill McGivering

Trespass

Valerie Martin

In a Strange Room

Damon Galgut

Once Upon a Time in England

Helen Walsh

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

Anatomy of a Soldier

Harry Parker

Unexploded

Alison MacLeod

The Dig

Cynan Jones

Manituana

Wu Ming

Under Fishbone Clouds

Sam Meekings

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

Empire of the Wolves

Jean-Christophe Grangé

The Stone of Laughter

Hoda Barakat

Innocent World

Amy Sakurai

The Parisian

Isabella Hammad

The End We Start From

Megan Hunter

The Hundred Wells of Salaga

Ayesha Harruna Attah

Out in the Open

Jesús Carrasco

Canada

Richard Ford

The Collaborator

Mirza Waheed

Bahia Blues

Yasmina Traboulsi

Peace

Richard Bausch

Blind Sunflowers

Alberto Mendez

The Forest of Souls

Carla Banks

This Blinding Absence of Light

Tahar Ben Jelloun

Thirty Girls

Susan Minot

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling

Almost Like Spring

Alex Capus

The Forgiven

Lawrence Osborne

Valentine Grey

Sandi Toksvig

The Testament of Mary

Colm Toibin

Running the Rift

Naomi Benaron

The Dinner

Herman Koch

The Unlucky Lottery

Hakan Nesser

The Auschwitz Violin

Maria Angels Anglada

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Maaza Mengiste

As the Earth Turns Silver

Alison Wong

I'm Not Scared

Niccolo Ammaniti

An Empty Room

Talitha Stevenson

The Swallows of Kabul

Yasmina Khadra

Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote

Ahmadou Kourouma

Goat Song

Chantal Pelletier

The Ash Garden

Dennis Bock

Fires in the Dark

Louise Doughty

Eagles and Angels

Juli Zeh