What do you wear to meet your father for the first time?
In 2004, Hannah Pool knew more about next season's lipstick colors than she did about Africa: a beauty editor for The Guardian newspaper, she juggled lattes and cocktails, handbags and hangouts through her twenties just like any other beautiful, independent Londoner. Her white, English adoptive relatives were beloved to her and were all the family she needed.
Okay, if I treat it as a first date, then I'm on home turf. What image do I want to put across?...Classic, rather than trendy, and if my G-string doesn't pop out, I should be able to carry the whole thing off.
Contacted by relatives she didn't know she had, she decided to visit Eritrea, the war-torn African country of her birth, and answer for herself the daunting questions every adopted child asks.
Imagine what it's like to never have seen another woman or man from your own family. To spend your life looking for clues in the faces of strangers...We all need to know why we were given up.
What Hannah Pool learned on her journey forms a narrative of insight, wisdom, wit, and warmth beyond all expectations.
When I stepped off the plane in Asmara, I had no idea what lay ahead, or how those events would change me, and if I'd thought about it too hard I probably wouldn't have gotten farther than the baggage claim.
A story that will "send shivers down [your] spine," (The Bookseller), My Fathers' Daughter follows Hannah Pool's brave and heartbreaking return to Africa to meet the family she lost -- and the father she thought was dead.
- Free Press, January 2009
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