Queen of Flowers and Pearls

Queen of Flowers and Pearls : A Novel

3.69 (26 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.show more

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
  • 1,171,473

Review quote

"[A] heart-wrenchingly beautiful novel." -Perspectives on History "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." - "Gabriella Ghermandi is one of the authors most invested in exploring the postcolonial dimension of contemporary Italian multiculturalism, and she is to my knowledge the only one who has taken on Italy's occupation of Ethiopia as the subject of fiction." -Allison Van Deventer, Harvard University, Bloom Magazine "Gabriella Ghermandi is part of an increasingly larger group of so-called Italian 'migrant writers' coming from Africa, Asia, and Latin America who, since the early 1990s, have contributed to Italian culture and language... though their input has not been without contention within Italian academia and its canons." -Clarissa Clo "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 "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 Reviewsshow more

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.show more

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 NineNotesshow more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 19% (5)
4 46% (12)
3 23% (6)
2 8% (2)
1 4% (1)
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