Ghanaian-Armenian writer's memoir “Aftershocks” published in U.S.

Ghanaian-Armenian writer's memoir “Aftershocks” published in U.S.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Simon & Schuster is publishing the new memoir by Nadia Owusu, a half Ghanaian and half Armenian author was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

According to a review by The Washington Post, the book is titled “Aftershocks” and follows the wide-ranging life of its writer, who from a young age felt a series of shocks that would define her life: the divorce of her mother and Ghanaian father when she was 3; the death of her father when she was 14 from cancer and, as she learns in shock later, perhaps AIDS; her late father’s partner, Anabel, attempting to take over as her mother; and Owusu’s profound sense, as she moved around the world as a multiracial child, that she never belonged anywhere, too light-skinned to fit in with other Ghanaians, too dark-skinned to blend in in Turkey, too briefly in Dar es Salaam or Rome or Addis Ababa to feel deeply rooted in any. “I speak three and a half languages that do not belong to me,” she writes.

The memoir begins, appositely, with her mother, whose departure changed the course of Owusu’s life. From then on, Owusu and the rest of her immediate family moved around the globe as her father took on new jobs, which often helped pay for her schooling. The book also tells about actual earthquakes, the first of which, in a remarkable case of life being stranger than fiction, happened in Armenia, her mother’s birthplace.

Various "themes and events, combined with horrific memories from her youth — Italian men groping her when she was a tween, or a terrifying scene in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when armed soldiers briefly occupied the base where she and her father were staying — form a hallucinatory, harrowing tale. We witness, in sections both tantalizing and tragic, Owusu’s struggles with mental illness. The book becomes a form of attempted self-care, repair through revelation. This is no ordinary jeremiad or jejune recounting of events; instead, it is an evocation of a feeling, of what it feels like to be constantly in search of a place to call home, constantly in search of peace amid trauma," the review reads.

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