Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

a nutshell: intimate & nonconforming, this debut is a beguiling insight into a Brazilian-English girl becoming a woman while treading a tightrope between multiple worlds

a line: “Here was the wide mouth, the big open bellied loneliness of the Atlantic. Of course, there had been no first trip”

an image: lingual affinity is v significant across this scattered family’s generations – one recurring image is that of unfamiliar words lodging like Lego bricks in the mouth, clunky

a thought: each page is shaped by cultural osmosis, with constant flux between English/Portuguese, thought/dialogue, even present/past (as she grows up, she looks to the stories of her mother, aunt & grandmother)

a fact: Brazil’s military dictatorship of 1964-85 is a whispering undercurrent for the protagonist’s mother, who was an activist; “I am history now!” was her gleeful response to a thesis on the dictatorship’s relations with students – today this rings a devastating note after Bolsonaro’s election

 

want to read Stubborn Archivist (pub. 2019)? visit here

[PS. big thanks to Yara for the copy!]

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