A girl is a body of water

by Makumbi, Jennifer Nansubuga,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 17 copies
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In her thirteenth year, Kirabo confronts a piercing question that has haunted her childhood: who is my mother? Kirabo has been raised by women in the small Ugandan village of Nattetta--her grandmother, her best friend, and her many aunts--but the absence of her mother follows her like a shadow. Complicating these feelings of abandonment, as Kirabo comes of age she feels the emergence of a mysterious second self, a headstrong and confusing force inside her at odds with her sweet and obedient nature.Seeking answers, Kirabo begins spending afternoons with Nsuuta, the local witch, trading stories and learning not only about this force inside her, but about the woman who birthed her, who she learns is alive but not ready to meet. Nsuuta also explains that Kirabo has a streak of the "first woman"--an independent, original state that has been all but lost to women.Kirabo's journey to reconcile her rebellious origins, alongside her desire to reconnect with her mother and to honor her family's expectations, is rich in the folklore of Uganda and an arresting exploration of what it means to be a modern girl in a world that seems determined to silence women. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's unforgettable novel is a sweeping testament to the true and lasting connections between history, tradition, family, friends, and the promise of a different future.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Makumbi's previous works, including her masterful debut Kintu (2017), awed readers and garned awards, and her new novel does not disappoint. Billed as the companion to Kintu, this is a modern retelling of the tale of Uganda's mythical first woman, Kirabo. At 12 years of age, Kirabo is strong-willed, loved, and well cared for by doting grandparents in the rural village of Natteta, but as she approaches her teen years, her mother's absence begins to overwhelm her. In her attempt to learn more about her mother, Kirabo seeks help from the local witch and sets in motion the unraveling of the knots of history, friendships, family, and love that tie together all the women in her life. With each new work, Makumbi cements her position as a writer of great influence in our time and for future generations. Featuring a tightly woven narrative, carefully crafted dialogue, and multidimensional characters, all shown through an unashamedly Ugandan lens, A Girl Is a Body of Water is a powerful novel celebrating and critiquing mwenkanonkano (feminism) and the highs and lows and everything in-between of being a woman."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Makumbi's arresting bildungsroman (after Kintu) centers on a Ugandan woman growing up in the 1970s as she searches for answers about her mother. As a child, Kirabo lives in rural Nattetta with her paternal grandparents and is occasionally visited by her father, Tom, a successful businessman in Kampala. Though Kirabo is well-loved, she longs to know more about the mother who abandoned her as a baby. When Kirabo is 12, Nsuuta, the local witch and her grandfather's lover, claims that Kirabo embodies "original state": the vigor and strength all women possessed before these qualities were destroyed by culture and traditions. Nsuuta also advises Kirabo to avoid looking for her mother, in order to spare her the inevitable rejection from acknowledging a child born outside marriage. When her meetings with Nsuuta are discovered, Kirabo's grandmother sends her to Kampala, but Tom's wife refuses to raise another woman's child, leading Tom to send her to a girls' boarding school where she thrives intellectually, suffers from loneliness, and falls in love. Kirabo, a strong, empathetic protagonist, reveals a society where women are routinely pitted against one another or silenced. This beautifully rendered saga is a riveting deconstruction of social perceptions of women's abilities and roles. (Sept.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Girls -- Uganda -- Fiction.
Self-realization -- Fiction.
Women -- Uganda -- Fiction.
Abandoned children -- Fiction.
Publisher Portland, Oregon :2020
Edition First US edition.
Language English
Description 545 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN 9781951142049
Other Classic View