Queen of Flowers and Pearls

Queen of Flowers and Pearls : A Novel

3.56 (32 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Translated by 

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Mahlet, a young Ethiopian girl with a gift for storytelling, has a special bond with Yacob, the oldest in her household. When Yacob tells her stories of how he and the other warriors fought in the resistance against the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, Mahlet vows to become the keeper and teller of her family's stories. From the time of Menelik to the present, Mahlet's long voyage through time and space links thousands of stories between Africa and Europe. Intensely personal, this powerful and beautifully narrated novel tells the story of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia as well as of others around the globe who have suffered under colonialism or have been forcibly exiled from their homelands.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253015472
  • 9780253015471
  • 1,244,439

Review quote

Ghermandi's patient, rhapsodic compilation reflects Mahlet's own struggle with her identity as an Ethiopian and, when she relocates to Italy for her education, as a foreigner . . . This singular coming-of-age story defined by political upheaval and ancestral secrets introduces a sensitive, perceptive storyteller on the brink of womanhood. * Kirkus Reviews * Queen of Flowers and Pearls is a wonderful, absorbing new novel that is part of IU Press' Global African Voices. . . [R]eaders can be assured that Mahlet will finally discover herself and her place in the world in the course of some gratifyingly suspenseful chapters. Ghermandi weaves personal memory into collective history. . . . Queen of Flowers and Pearls offers a guiding perspective to help us form questions and seek answers from the present as well as the past. Perhaps most hopefully, it makes us consider the current repression in light of the past victories of the Ethiopian citizenry. * Washington Post * [A] heart-wrenchingly beautiful novel. * Perspectives on History *
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About Gabriella Ghermandi

Gabriella Ghermandi was born in Addis Ababa and lives in Bologna, Italy. She writes and acts in narrative plays that she produces in Italy and Switzerland. She also conducts creative writing workshops for schools. This is her first novel.Giovanna Bellesia-Contuzzi is Professor of Italian Language and Literature at Smith College. She is translator, with Victoria Offredi Poletto of Little Mother (IUP, 2011).Victoria Offredi Poletto is Senior Lecturer in Italian Emerita at Smith College.
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Table of contents

ForewordTranslators' NoteList of Amharic Words and Expressions The PromiseChapter OneYacob's StoryChapter TwoThe PassageAdolescenceThe AdviceThe Flower of the MonthThe Saturday Market!The ConsentThe First Day of WorkAt Legesse's ShopThe WestAnnouncement! Announcement!Arada SeferThe MoveThe First Celebration of Timket in the CapitalThe Chaos before the CalmReturn to Debre ZeitThe DepartureThe ReturnChapter ThreeThe Story of the Stupid Lion and the MonkeyChapter FourThe Story of Abbaba Igira SaloChapter FiveFarisa Alula, the GreatChapter SixThe Turtle Lady's Story Kebedech SeyoumChapter SevenThe Story of Woizero Bekelech and Signor AntonioChapter EightChapter NineNotes
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Rating details

32 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 19% (6)
4 41% (13)
3 25% (8)
2 9% (3)
1 6% (2)
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