My Fathers' Daughter

My Fathers' Daughter

A Story of Family and Belonging

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.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416594901 | 
  • January 2012
List Price $18.99
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About the Author

Hannah Pool
Photo Credit:

Hannah Pool

Hannah Pool was born in Eritrea in 1974. She was adopted from an orphanage in Asmara (the capital of Eritrea) by a white couple - the wife was American, husband was British - and grew up in Manchester, England. Best known for her column “The New Black” in The Guardian, she is currently a feature writer at The Guardian newspaper. This is her first book. Hannah now lives in London.

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