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Africa: Stories in the 55

Life and sensuality in a refugee camp in Suliaman Addonia's "Silence is My Mother Tongue"

Audio 19:00
Sulaiman Addonia, author of the novel "Silence is My Mother Tongue"
Sulaiman Addonia, author of the novel "Silence is My Mother Tongue" Lyse Ishimwe

In "Silence is My Mother Tongue", the latest novel by Eritrean-Ethiopian writer Sulaiman Addonia, teen Saba and her brother Hagos arrive at a refugee camp in Sudan, where she is determined to continue her studies, while he is content to take care of her. The other Eritrean refugees bring their conservative views to the camp, especially when it comes to women. Addonia brings Saba to life through her fight to determine her own future, refusing the traditional restrictions imposed on her gender.

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"We need to take responsibility and accountability for the war we commit, especially against women," says Addonia, speaking of the struggle Saba has to assert herself, and her quest to finish her educaiton. "If there are crimes committed by women, or seem to be committed by women, they are extremely highlighted," he adds.

Also included in this podcast: Helon Habila, Nigerian author of "Travelers", a novel coming out in June, speaks about his favorite book from the Heinemann African classics series.

 

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