ABOUT THE BOOK:
English edition of Shirin Ramzanali Fazel's "Lontano da Mogadiscio" is a milestone of Italian postcolonial literature. This book was the first literary work to be written by an immigrant writer without the help of an Italian co-author. It is now available in revisited and bilingual edition (Italian and English), with the translation of the author.
There was time when my country was the country of fairy tales, a country where every child would want to grow and play. This is the story of the author’s physical and emotional journey from her war-torn homeland, Somalia. Some time after the military coup in 1969 Shirin left Mogadishu and moved to Italy to make a new life and home for herself and her family. Since then she has crossed continents and lived in several cities, facing the challenge of integrating with many different kind of society before settling in England in 2010. This book encapsulates her reflections on the Somali Diaspora.
"This book (which I read in the English version) is an evocative and powerful autobiography, telling the story of an exceptional woman. I knew almost nothing about the Somalia in which Ramanali Fazal grew up, but was fascinated to visit this world which was vividly realised in her beautiful prose. The journey that she made to Italy as a young married woman, and her courage and grace in the face of ignorance and prejudice in many places are both uplifting and inspiring. I live in Birmingham and it was very interesting to see the city through the eyes of a recent arrival. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to experience and learn about 1950s/60s Somalia, Italy since the 1970s, plus many other locations in our world, through the eyes of an observant and very human narrator, who writes vivid and poetic prose. Well worth a read."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shirin Ramzanali Fazel is an Italian writer of Somali and Pakistani origins, author of the novels Lontano da Mogadiscio (Roma, Datanews 1994) and Nuvole sull'Equatore (Cuneo, Nerosubianco, 2010), and many short stories, including Il segreto di Ommdurmann, which appeared in the journal Italian in Studies in Southern Africa in 1995.
Shirin was born in Mogadishu, Somalia where she attended Italian schools. At the age of 18, after the ―coup d'état of Siad Barre, she left her country and in 1971 she arrived in Novara (Italy) with her young husband, an Italian citizen, and her little baby girl. A year and a half later she gave birth to her second child. Since 1976, due to her husband‘s job, they moved for several years across different continents: Zambia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.A., but she always kept her home in Italy, where she collaborated with different women‘s group associations who dealt with social and immigration problems. Shirin currently lives in BIrmingham, UK.