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Hannah Azieb Pool reading from My Fathers' Daughter & Q and A

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Room RHB 137a,

Richard Hoggart Building

Goldsmiths, University of London

New Cross

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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Eritrean born journalist, author and commentator Hannah Azieb Pool will read from her first book, My Father's Daughter, followed by a Q & A with the audience. The Q & A will be chaired by Dr. Perlita Harris, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Goldsmiths.

My Fathers' Daughter: Synopsis

Hannah writes, "For the first twenty years of my life this is what I knew about my background: I was born in Eritrea a tiny country on the north-east coast of Africa. My mother died in childbirth, my father soon afterwards, I was placed in an orphanage in Asmara, the capital, by a distant relative, or perhaps a neighbour. That’s it. The sum total of my family knowledge. 

Six months later I was adopted by a British academic and that’s how I ended up growing up in a white family in Manchester. And then one day, when I was a student in Liverpool, I received a letter with an Eritrean postmark. It was from my brother in Asmara, the one I never knew I had."

My Fathers’ Daughter is Hannah Pool’s brave and heartbreaking story of her return to Africa to meet the family she lost – and the father she thought was dead…

Reviews for My Fathers’ Daughter:

"Remarkable...Pool's candor is striking...Her story is as much about an adopted child facing up to the challenge of tracing her biological family as it is about her search for African roots...[She gives] a sense of what it is like to be a young person of African descent who is unquestionably British." -- The Observer (U.K.)

"What a story. So vivid, honest and moving." -- Andrea Levy, author of Small Island

"In this beautifully honest book, Pool gives us a front-row view of how identity is built up, but also how it's dismantled...Simply engrossing." -- Time Out London

"Hannah Pool [is] a thoroughly engaging storyteller [who] offers us a different way of seeing...layered with subtleties. Although passages bring tears to the eyes, the sentiment is never pity. Rather awe -- at the depth of Hannah's experience, her courage in confronting it and her success, finally, in making sense of it all." -- The Sunday Times (London)

"Engaging and moving."' -- Mail on Sunday

"A moving story that sent shivers down my spine in its final moments. Hannah is an engaging raconteur, reporting her emotional highs and lows with insight and humor." -- The Bookseller

"[A] truly moving exploration of identity." -- Sunday Times


About Hannah Pool:

Eritrean born journalist, author and commentator Hannah Azieb Pool writes regularly in the national and international media. Hannah is also a Senior Programmer of Contemporary Culture at The Southbank Centre, London, UK.

Hannah has written features, interviews and comment for the Guardian for over a decade. Hannah’s work also appears in The Times, The Sunday Times, Vogue. Grazia, The Independent, and others.

As Senior Programmer, Contemporary Culture at the Southbank centre, Hannah is a curator of the talks and debates at the Women of the World (WOW) and Africa Utopia festivals.

Hannah’s book, My Fathers’ Daughter: A story of family and belonging is a memoir of her journey back to Eritrea to find her birth family. Published in the UK (Penguin), the US (Free Press), France, and Holland to critical acclaim, My Fathers’ Daughter was described by the Washington Post as “a significant and moving book.”

A regular contributor to BBC Radio, a speaker at TedXEuston, Africa Writes and Africa Gathering, Hannah was the subject of CNN’s African Voices.

Hannah’s next book, Fashion Cities Africa was released internationally in May 2016 - 'Now, with Fashion Cities Africa, Pool aims to correct the misconceptions about African fashion, providing key context for contemporary African fashion scenes and capturing the depth and breadth of truly African fashion.'


Chair: Dr. Perlita Harris

Dr. Perlita Harris is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests include adoption, transracal adoption and child welfare, with a particular interest in Black and seldom heard voices. She is the editor, co-editor or co-author of 6 books: In Search of Belonging: Reflections by transracially adopted people (BAAF 2006), The Colours in Me: Writing and poetry by adopted children and young people (BAAF 2008), Something that never went away (Adults Affected by Adoption - NORCAP 2009), Pathways to Permanence for Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnicity Children (BAAF 2012), Chosen: Living with Adoption (BAAF 2012), and Safeguarding Black Children: Good Practice in Child Protection (JKP 2016).

Photograph copyright - Aida Muluneh

This event is supported by the Goldsmiths Annual Fund.

It is the first of three events providing critical perspectives on adoption. The second event on Tuesday 30 May 2pm - 4pm is: Loss, Grief and the Long-Term Impact of Losing a Baby to Adoption: The experience of mothers of past adoptions. The third event (date in October tbc) is a screening of Adopted-ID about Haitian adopted adult Judith Craig Morency, followed by a Q & A with Judith Craig Morency.


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Room RHB 137a,

Richard Hoggart Building

Goldsmiths, University of London

New Cross

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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