The Network of European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and the Ottawa Public Library are pleased to present the next session, featuring a German novel by Sharon Dodua Otoo, ”Ada's Room“ (translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi).
About the book:
A kaleidoscopic novel spanning generations and continents, that reveals the connections between four women in their struggle for survival.
A woman in 15th century West Africa named Ada buries her child and confronts a Portuguese enslaver. A woman in Victorian England named Ada Lovelace, a mathematical genius and computer programming pioneer, tries to hide her affair with Charles Dickens from her husband. A woman named Ada, imprisoned in a concentration camp at Mittelbau-Dora in 1945, will survive one more day in enforced prostitution. Connected by an unknown but sentient spirit, and a bracelet of fertility beads that each Ada encounters at a pivotal moment in her life, these women share a name and a purpose.
As their interwoven narratives converge on a modern day Ada, a young Ghanaian woman who finds herself pregnant, alone, in Berlin, searching for a home before her baby arrives, their shared spirit will find a way to help her break the vicious cycle of injustice.
This novel is a feat of imagination and breaks down simplistic notions of history as a straight line; one woman’s experience matters to another’s 400 years later, on a different continent. In this deeply moving, at times mordantly funny, ultimately hopeful book, there is a connection between all those fighting for love, for family, for justice, for a home. (penguinrandomhouse.com)
About the author:
Sharon Dodua Otoo is the winner of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize and will be the Schroeder Writer-in-Residence at the University of Cambridge in 2022. She is active with the Initiative Schwarze Menschen and is affiliated with the Black queer feminist association ADEFRA. A writer and activist born in London, she lives in Berlin and writes in German. This is her first novel.
Jon Cho-Polizzi is an Assistant Professor of German at the University of Michigan, and a literary translator. He lives and works between Ann Arbor, Northern California, and Berlin. (penguinrandomhouse.com)
Date & time: Wednesday January 17, 2024 | 6 pm (EST), 3pm (PST)
Venue: This meeting will take place on Zoom.