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Wednesday, 11 March 2020

#BOOKREVIEW STUBBORN ARCHIVIST by YARA RODRIGUES FOWLER @dylanthomprize #SUDTP20


A huge delight to be part of this wonderful tour, and to share my thoughts on STUBBORN ARCHIVIST by YARA RODRIGUES FOWLER today with you all. My thanks to Martina at  Midas Public Relations for the copy of the book and putting the tour together.



ABOUT THE BOOK

For fans of Chemistry and Normal People: A mesmerizing and witty debut novel about a young woman growing up between two disparate cultures, and the singular identity she finds along the way

But where are you really from? 

When your mother considers another country home, it’s hard to know where you belong. When the people you live among can’t pronounce your name, it’s hard to know exactly who you are. And when your body no longer feels like your own, it’s hard to understand your place in the world.

In Stubborn Archivist, a young British Brazilian woman from South London navigates growing up between two cultures and into a fuller understanding of her body, relying on signposts such as history, family conversation, and the eyes of the women who have shaped her—her mother, grandmother, and aunt. Our stubborn archivist takes us through first love and loss, losing and finding home, trauma and healing, and various awakenings of sexuality and identity. Shot through the novel are the narrator's trips to Brazil, sometimes alone, often with family, where she accesses a different side of herself—one, she begins to realize, that is as much of who she is as anything else.

A hypnotic and bold debut, Stubborn Archivist is as singular as its narrator; a novel you won't soon forget. 

PUBLISHED BY FLEET

PURCHASE LINKS





MY REVIEW

I found this to be such an intriguing read as it looks into your own identity if you don't really know yourself!! You're somewhere in between and often feel like you don't fit in! Are you Brazilian? Are you English?  And this book follows the journey of a young woman as she tries to discover just how she is - personally, sexually, politically, relationships, history - and all that comes with it.

It's told in a stunning way with a mix of story and poetry, and this did take a little bit of getting my head around for a while. BUT once I'd got into the flow and the mindset of the narrator it all came together beautifully and was so rewarding when it all clicked into place for me as a reader! There are many issues to do with family and growing up  is a complicated process anyway, but even more so if you're of mixed backgrounds and trying to make sense of it all!.

Her life is split into different sections and tells of trips to Brazil to see if she can find connection there,  and living in England and how isolated she can often feel here.  She just never really feels settled anywhere and that affects her mood and how she sees herself.  I loved the simple conversations that are mentioned and all those words left unsaid.

What makes the story stand out for me though is the way it's told - the use of language, how the words are displayed on each page and something you can only really understand by picking the book up yourself. The poetry alongside the memoir side to the book adds a different depth to the story and builds up on that 'mix' of the use of language being similar to the mix of nationalities.  

This was a truly fascinating read and I can see why it has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2020 and highly recommend picking up a copy for a different kind of reading experience.

★★★★



For more information about the Dylan Thomas Prize 2020 please click the link below...

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