Description"The story of my curly hair," says Mila, the narrator of Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida's autobiographically inspired tragicomedy, "intersects with the story of at least two countries and, by extension, the indirect story of the relations among several continents: a geopolitics." Mila is the Luanda-born daughter of a black Angolan mother and a white Portuguese father. She arrives in Lisbon at the tender age of three, and feels like an outsider from the jump. Through the lens of young Mila's indomitably curly hair, her story interweaves memories of childhood and adolescence, family lore spanning four generations, and present-day reflections on the internal and external tensions of a European and African identity. In layered, intricately constructed prose, That Hair enriches and deepens a global conversation, challenging in necessary ways our understanding of racism, feminism, and the double inheritance of colonialism, not yet fifty years removed from Angola's independence. It's the story of coming of age as a black woman in a nation at the edge of Europe that is also rapidly changing, of being considered an outsider in one's own country, and the impossibility of "returning" to a homeland one doesn't in fact know.
Tin House Books
March 17, 2020
5.0 X 0.5 X 7.7 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author
Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida was born in Luanda, Angola, and grew up in Lisbon. She has a PhD in literary theory from the University of Lisbon. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta.com, Words Without Borders, Granta Portugal, Observador, Somos Libros, Ler, serrote, and 451.
Eric M. B. Becker is a writer, literary translator, and editor of Words without Borders. He is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Commission, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. In 2014, he earned a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for his translation of a collection of short stories from the Portuguese by Neustadt Prize for International Literature winner and 2015 Man Booker International Finalist Mia Couto (due out in early 2019 from Biblioasis). He has also published translations of numerous writers from Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa, including, Noemi Jaffe, Elvira Vigna, Paulo Scott, Martha Batalha, Paulo Coelho, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Current book projects include work by Djaimila Pereira de Almeida, Alice Sant'Anna, Fernanda Torres, and Lygia Fagundes Telles (NEA Fellowship 2019), among others. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Literary Hub, Freeman's, and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, among other publications. He has served on the juries of the ALTA National Translation Award and the PEN Translation Prize.