DMA Virtual Event: Abi Daré and Andrea Lee

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 



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Two award-winning novelists with riveting stories set in Nigeria and Madagascar, cultures featured in the DMA’s exhibition Moth to Cloth: Silk in Africa



Abi Daré’s celebrated novel The Girl with the Louding Voice is the unforgettable, inspiring story of Adunni, a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself.  Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself while helping other girls like her do the same. Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances will “break your heart and then put it back together again” (Jenna Bush Hager). An instant New York Times bestseller and a Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick, this story can inspire us all to reach for our dreams while changing the world for the better. 

Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and now lives in Essex, England, with her husband and two daughters, who inspired her to write this debut novel. 

“A celebration of girls who dare to dream.” —Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers (Oprah’s Book Club pick) 

From National Book Award–nominated writer Andrea LeeRed Island House is an evocative novel about marriage, loyalty, identity, and clashing cultures, set in the tropical African nation of Madagascar. Lee does not have roots in Madagascar and approaches Red Island House from the perspective of an outsider and tourist rather than a Malagasy. 

When Shay, a Black American professor, marries Senna, an Italian businessman in Milan, he builds a flamboyant vacation villa on an idyllic stretch of beach in Madagascar. Before she knows it, Shay has become the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and her connection to the continent of her ancestors. As she and her husband raise children and establish their own rituals on the island, Shay finds herself drawn ever deeper into an extraordinary place with its own laws and logic, a provocative paradise full of magic and myth whose fraught colonial legacy continues to reverberate. 

Andrea Lee is the author of four books, including the National Book Award–nominated memoir Russian Journal. A former staff writer for the  New Yorker, she has written for the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and the New York Times Book Review. Born in Philadelphia, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University and now lives in Italy. The highly anticipated Red Island House will be her first novel to be published in 15 years.  

“The lush natural habitat and privileged ex-pat existence contrast starkly with the island’s poverty and traditions. . . . [A] singularly intriguing and mysterious saga that casts an enduring spell.”
O Magazine, Most Anticipated Books of 2021 

The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel By Abi Daré Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524746025
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Dutton - February 4th, 2020

Red Island House: A Novel By Andrea Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982137809
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - March 23rd, 2021