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Aftershocks Reviews

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

Aftershocks: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Identity

Nadia Owusu

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Sceptre
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 4 Feb 2021
ISBN: 9781529342864

An exceptional memoir about race, family and belonging for a moment when identity and division dominate our global politics

4 stars out of 5
1 Apr 2021

"sudden displacements drive this author’s multifaceted memoir"

Aftershocks offers an incisive and tender reminder that life does not take place in neat categories, no matter where you are from. We are many-sided and infinitely malleable, and all the better for it. “I am made of the earth, flesh, ocean, blood, and bone of all the places I tried to belong to and all the people I long for,” Owusu reflects; and with that, “I am home”.


4 stars out of 5
5 Mar 2021

"Owusu uses seismology as a metaphor for her trauma and a means of detailing her fractured identity"

Responses to the question of “where are you from” are not simple and must be self-critical. They at times require excavation into family histories and a grim examination of how different kinds of privileges intersect. In Aftershocks, Owusu lets these concepts linger. When her father is stationed in Addis Ababa, the walls of the international compound shield her view of the shantytowns outside. During the civil war, when rebel soldiers breach the compound to conscript children, what shields Owusu and her siblings is less tangible but more potent.