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Ada's Realm

Sharon Dodua Otoo , Translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi

"Set to be one of the best books of 2023" GQ Magazine

"Soaring, spellbinding, utterly epic" MUSA OKWONGA

"A time-travelling wonder of a read" PATERSON JOSEPH


In a small village in West Africa, in what will one day become Ghana, Ada gives birth again, and again the baby does not live. As she grieves the loss of her child, Portuguese traders become the first white men to arrive in the village, an event that will bear terrible repercussions for Ada and her kin.


Centuries later, Ada will become the mathematical genius Ada Lovelace; Ada, a prisoner forced into prostitution in a Nazi concentration camp; and Ada, a young, pregnant Ghanaian woman with a new British passport who arrives in Berlin in 2019 for a fresh start.


Ada is not one woman, but many, and she is all women - she revolves in orbits, looping from one century and from one place to the next. And so, she experiences the hardship but also the joy of womanhood: she is a victim, she offers resistance, and she fights for her independence.

This long-awaited debut from Sharon Dodua Otoo paints an astonishing picture of femininity, resilience and struggle with deep empathy and humour, with vivid language and infinite imagination.

"An impressive and highly original work, brimming over with energy" TLS

"Ada's Realm pushes boundaries . . . More power to her pen!" MARGARET BUSBY

"Thrillingly, astonishingly original." R. O. KWON

"A work of fierce imagination" NII AYIKWEI PARKES

"A rule-shattering novel" Kirkus Reviews

Translated from the German by Jon Cho-Polizzi

Born in London in 1972 to Ghanaian parents, SHARON DODUA OTOO is an political activist and novelist living in Berlin. After having published several newspaper articles and two novellas in English, she wrote a short story in German which was later awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize (2016), one of Germany's most renowned literary awards. She is politically active with several civil rights organisations, including the Initiative Black People in Germany (ISD), a Black queer feminist organisation called ADEFRA, and Phoenix.
Ada's Realm is her first novel.

Category:  Historical Fiction
ISBN:  9781529419023
Publisher:  Quercus Publishing
On sale:  April 2023
Format:  Paperback
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