(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
New Vessel Press
Publish Date
5.3 X 0.5 X 7.9 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

Igiaba Scego is an Italian novelist and journalist. She was born in Rome in 1974 to Somali parents who took refuge in Italy following a coup d'Γ©tat in their native country, where her father served as foreign minister.

Jamie Richards is a translator based in Milan. She holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon. Her translations include Igort's Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks, Giovanni Orelli's Walaschek's Dream, and Jellyfish by Giancarlo Pastore.


"The Italian-born daughter of Somali parents, Scego ... writes with forthright simplicity and unblinking honesty ... Bearing witness through fiction, Scego's Adua gives urgent voice to the silent caught between shifting loyalties, abusive power, and nations at war. "
--The Christian Science Monitor

"This incantatory novel is a dialogue between a freedom-seeking daughter and her traditionalist father. For Adua, the bonds of love prove as constraining as any legal system bent on controlling outsiders. As a child, she believed Italy was freedom. As a black woman, she is forced to reconsider. Yet Rome offered refuge during Somalia's civil conflict and the space to contemplate returning once it eased. Adopted homes may not give themselves fully, Scego seems to suggest, but they powerfully clarify what has been lost."
--The Boston Globe

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

"Italy's most obvious answer to Toni Morrison ... Scego's work offers more than a few delights."
--The Point

"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)

"Three experiences of blackness in Rome, three generations searching for a way out. Scego, who is Somali-Italian, is an incisive writer on migration, skilled in making the historical personal."
--Toronto Globe and Mail

"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

"This imaginatively dense novel ... offers a potent and historically nuanced account of the aspirations and defeats of three generations of Somali migrants ... brilliantly rendered."
--Public Books

"A lyrical novel ... the author merges African fable and folklore, family anecdotes, and a sophisticated knowledge of literature and cinema to explore themes of colonialism, racism, and power."
--The Literary Review
"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
"I could not put down this enchanting novel; its characters pulsate off the page, fraught with the entanglements of living ... You read books everyday and then you come across that one that just grips you and haunts you and stays with you. That book is called Adua."
--Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, author of The House of Stone and Shadows
"The story of Italian fascism in East Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea) has mostly been unrecorded. The novel skillfully draws together the changing aspects of colonialism over a period of more than a century."
"Adua is a riveting novel that ... will captivate you at every page. Its urgent relevancy makes it a must-read for those who want to further understand our world."
--Underrated Reads
"Deeply and thoroughly researched ... also a captivating read: the novel is sweeping in its geographical and temporal scope, yet Scego nonetheless renders her complex protagonists richly and lovingly."
--Africa is a Country

"Igiaba Scego is an original voice who connects Italy's present with its colonial past. Adua is an important novel that obliges the country to confront both memory and truth."
--Amara Lakhous, author of Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio

"This book depicts the soul and the body of a daughter and a father, illuminating words that are used every day and swiftly emptied of meaning: migrants, diaspora, refugees, separation, hope, humiliation, death."