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Ada's Realm

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529419016

Price: £16.99

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“Set to be one of the best books of 2023” GQ Magazine

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


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.

Translated from the German by Jon Cho-Polizzi

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Otoo blasts established narrative boundaries.
[Otoo] finds a form that uses the possibilities of storytelling and the joy of experimentation to open up space for her characters.
Sabine Rohlf, Berliner Zeitung
A singular voice in contemporary German-language literature
Andreas Busche, Tagesspiegel
A absolutely astonishing story
Frankfurter Allgemeine, Andreas Platthaus
Otoo's play with perspectives is an ode to her narrative command over the inanimate world, which is condemned to a constant, powerless witnessing of world events
Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Set to be one of the best books of 2023 . . . Each narrative is connected by an underlying thread, with all of them exploring the misery and joy of womanhood, as well as themes of emancipation, resistance, and freedom.
GQ Magazine
Otoo's captivating use of language is the thread that ties these varying yet overlapping tales together . . . An impressive and highly original work, brimming over with energy.
Jen Calleja, Times Literary Supplement
Thrillingly, astonishingly original. You will not have read anything quite like this before.
R. O. Kwon, author of THE INCENDIARIES