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Adua
Cover of Adua
Adua
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Adua, an immigrant from Somalia to Italy, has lived in Italy 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. A searing novel about a young immigrant woman's dream of finding freedom in Rome and the bittersweet legacies of her African past.

Adua, an immigrant from Somalia to Italy, has lived in Italy 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. A searing novel about a young immigrant woman's dream of finding freedom in Rome and the bittersweet legacies of her African past.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 17, 2017
    Scego showcases a talent for portraying intense and quiet suffering in this intergenerational novel tackling European colonialism and the continued mistreatment of migrants. Faced with the possibility of returning to claim an ancestral home in Somalia during a tenuous break in the civil war, Adua reflects on her original journey to Italy 40 years ago. Her abusive, exploitative treatment by the makers of a film she was in soured her dream of becoming a movie star. Her current life as a wife to a much younger Somali refugee who nearly died crossing to Europe disappoints, too; their relationship is more mother-son than husband-wife. Her father, Zoppe, came to Rome on the brink of World War II to work as a translator. His firsthand experience of racial violence in the shadow of rising fascism resulted in his return to Somalia as the servant of a count that altered the rest of his adult life. In between their two stories, Scego includes brief “Talking-To” chapters that capture Zoppe berating Adua, distilling their tense relationship and inability to connect in impressive shorthand. Scego reveals the horrifying details of both characters’ stories in unornamented prose, from Zoppe’s extreme experience of police brutality to Adua’s infibulation. The measured and calm presentation amplifies the impact of these traumas. The lovely prose and memorable characters make this novel a thought-provoking and moving consideration of the wreckage of European oppression.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2017

    In her lucid and forthright novel, Italian novelist/journalist Scego--born to Somali parents who fled the 1969 coup d'etat--examines the linked consequences of Italian colonization, instability in 1970s Somalia, and the current refugee crisis in Europe. Adua, whose mother died in childbirth, was seven or eight when her father, Zoppe, arrived to take her from caretakers in the bush to the big city. An interpreter for Mussolini's regime, Zoppe landed in Rome and suffered extreme prejudice and imprisonment for his black skin, experiences that hardened him and that serve as an effective counterpoint to Adua's own experiences after she herself flees to Rome. Adua was driven out by sectarian violence and the cruelty of her father. But now Somalia's civil war is over, her father has died, and she has an inherited the family home. Should she return? In Rome, she has a much younger husband, a refugee she married to help him after his arduous Mediterranean crossing and for whom she feels responsible. But her identity could lie in the other direction. VERDICT An illuminating work appropriate for a wide range of readers.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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