Silence is My Mother Tongue (Paperback)
  • Silence is My Mother Tongue (Paperback)
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Silence is My Mother Tongue (Paperback)

(author)
£11.99
Paperback 208 Pages
Published: 28/06/2019
  • 10+ in stock

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In a time of war, what is the shape of love?

Saba arrives in an East African refugee camp as a young girl, devastated to have been wrenched from school and forced to abandon her books as her family flees to safety. In this unfamiliar, crowded and often hostile space, she must carve out a new existence. As she struggles to maintain her sense of self, she remains fiercely protective of her mute brother, Hagos—each sibling resisting the roles gender and society assign.

Through a cast of complex, beautifully drawn characters, Sulaiman Addonia questions what it means to be a man, to be a woman, to be an individual when circumstance has forced the loss of all that makes a home or a future.

Sulaiman Addonia was born in Eritrea. He spent his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan having survived the Om Hajar massacre in 1976, and in his early teens he lived and studied in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Having arrived in London as an underage unaccompanied child refugee without a word of English, he went on to degrees from SOAS and UCL.

Publisher: The Indigo Press
ISBN: 9781911648062
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 206 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Silence is My Mother Tongue offers a bold and at times shocking insight into what life can be like living in a refugee camp . . . the way in which Addonia has created these characters and ties them together to create this uncertain world in which they live in makes this a compelling read’ https://lovelondonloveculture.com/2018/10/06/review-silence-is-my-mother-tongue-by-sulaiman-addonia/ - Emma Clarendon, Love London Culture

‘An excellent read for anyone interested in humanity and good stories, Silence is My Mother Tongue will be remembered for years to come.’ https://jeviscachee.com/2018/10/23/silence-is-my-mother-tongue-by-sulaiman-addonia/ - Scar De Courcier

‘Writing Like Degas Paints: Sulaiman Addonia on how Edgar Degas’ nude portraits inspired his latest novel, Silence is My Mother Tongue’ - Suliaman Addonia, Granta

‘This is such an intensely immersive, moving piece of fiction throughout which so much is left unsaid, so much forbidden.’ https://alifeinbooks.co.uk/2018/10/silence-is-my-mother-tongue-by-sulaiman-addonia-the-quiet-power-of-the-novella/ - A Life in Books

‘Brims with the sensory flavours of remembered experience’ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-6343297/LITERARY-FICTION.html - Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

‘Addonia, who spent his own earl life in a Sudanese refugee camp, has a unique and intelligent voice which makes sensual evocative poetry of the deepest, fiercest emotions’ https://lovelondonloveculture.com/2018/10/06/review-silence-is-my-mother-tongue-by-sulaiman-addonia/ - Jane Graham, The Big Issue

‘Murder, migration and mother love: the making of the novelist Sulaiman Addonia’ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/nov/21/murder-migration-mother-love-novelist-sulaiman-addonia?CMP=share_btn_tw - Sian Cain, The Guardian

‘Just when we thought the year couldn’t yield any more gems, Sulaiman Addonia’s Silence is My Mother Tongue comes out and wows us with one of the most lovable female characters we’ve seen in African fiction this year’ https://brittlepaper.com/2018/12/welovebooks-silence-mother-tongue-sulaiman-addonia/ - Brittle Paper

Best Books of 2018 ‘Written in lambent, lyrical prose, with deep human empathy, Silence is My Mother Tongue is a timely and fierce novel about survival, conflict and immigration’ http://review31.co.uk/essay/view/65/review-31's-best-books-of%20%E2%80%A6 - Review 31

‘The exchange of masculine and feminine roles within the context of a sexually conservative culture makes for a gripping and courageous narrative’ https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/dec/14/silence-is-my-mother-tongue-sulaiman-addonia-review - Jane Housham, The Guardian

‘A beautiful and articulate novel, Silence is My Mother Tongue fuses themes of feminism, war and postcolonialism, portraying the story of refugees far from today’s one-dimensional depiction.’ https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/society/2019/2/6/exile-and-survival-silence-is-my-mother-tongue - Ilham Essalih, The New Arab

‘A beautiful and articulate novel, Silence is My Mother Tongue fuses themes of feminism, war and postcolonialism, portraying the story of refugees far from today’s one-dimensional depiction.’ https://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/17771710.paperbacks-breath-dying-embers-lying-money-silence-mother-tongue/ - Alasair Mabbott, The Herald Scotland

‘‘Silence is My Mother Tongue’ is a brave and uncompromising book, written in a style that is unambiguous on the one hand and nuanced on the other – depicting societal problems in a manner that is clear but sensitive.’ http://literandra.com/book-review-silence-is-my-mother-tongue-by-sulaiman-addonia/ - Alessandra Bassey, Literandra

‘Virginia’s spirited dedication to her work gave my soul the belief, just as he writing proved to be inspirational to my ink, not merely to carry on but to soar at my writing desk’ https://www.passaporta.be/en/magazine/for-virginia-woolf - passa porta

‘In Search Of Beauty: Blackness As A Poem in Saudi Arabi’ https://granta.com/in-search-of-beauty/ - Suliaman Addonia, Granta

Books of the year 2019 ‘It is brutal on aid politics, it is damning on FGM, yet this book is infused with love as Saba, the heroine, outwits all the voyeurism of the refugee camp and of the novel form’ https://www.newstatesman.com/best-books-this-year-2019 - Preti Taneja, New Stateman

‘There is no doubt Addonia, as a writer, is an artist and by casting his bedraggled refugees in the light and colour of the Renaissance masters … he has managed to give them the dignity and courage they have mostly lacked in contemporary literature’ https://thelagosreview.ng/silence-is-my-mother-tongue-review-abubakar-adam-ibrahim/ - Abubakar Adam, The Lagos Review

‘through the sheer force of prose, Sulaiman Addonia’s sophomore novel, ‘Silence is My Mother Tongue (Indigo Press, London), drags Eritrea from the literary precipice into the spotlight.’ https://thelagosreview.ng/silence-is-my-mother-tongue-review-abubakar-adam-ibrahim/ - Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Daily Trust

‘I took my book and walked away from those who tried to censor my imagination, in the same way I had cast aside my mother’s pleas. And I kept walking with my book until I found it a home where words are—truly—free’ https://brittlepaper.com/2019/12/the-voices-i-overcame-to-write-silence-is-my-mother-tongue-sulaiman-addonai/ - Suliaman Addonia, Brittle Paper

Book of the Month ‘the author forces you to see what it means to be a human being living in those conditions, and what violence does to us as human beings’ https://www.bellanaija.com/2019/12/bn-book-of-the-month-silence-is-my-mother-tongue-by-sulaiman-addonia/ - BellaNaija

‘Addonia (The Consequences of Love) chronicles the lives of two siblings in a Sudanese refugee camp in his darkly poetic second novel.’ https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-64445-033-8 - Publisher's Weekly

In This Novel of Exile, Sulaiman Addonia Writes From Experience ‘The novel leaves us with the lingering imprint of the siblings’ many sacrifices, and their ever-growing love.’ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/15/books/review/sulaiman-addonia-silence-is-my-mother-tongue.html  - Jamil Jan Kochai, The New York Times

‘Imagination as Oasis: A Conversation with Sulaiman Addonia’ ‘Silence is My Mother Tongue dissects how a refugee camp erases one’s individuality, what communities demand of women, and how, in the face of great loss and scrutiny, one can find a way to redeem individuality by redefining love, sex and gender roles.’ https://therumpus.net/2020/09/the-rumpus-interview-with-sulaiman-addonia/ - Donna Hemans, The Rumpus

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