Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

Release Date: January 12, 2021

Nadia has never had a clear answer to the seemingly simple question, “Where are you from?” She has lived in many places throughout her life due to her father’s job with the UN, ranging from Rome, to Dar-es-Salaam, to Kampala, to England, and even New York City. Beyond her varied geographic identity, Nadia has grappled her whole life with her complicated relationship to her cultural and ethnic identity. As a multiracial woman who did not have a cookie-cutter family, she struggles to understand herself as well as her relation to her absent Armenian-American mother, her Ghanaian father, and her stepmother, Anabel. 

Weaving together the many time periods of her life, Nadia attempts to craft her identity and true self from the multiple strings making up her life history. While attending university in America, these many ties prove too tangled as Nadia struggles with her mental health in her small New York apartment. However, she is able to overcome the great instability of her upbringing and use writing as her grounding force.

Nadia Owusu delivers an intense and palpable memoir of her life that always circles back to the few days in her twenties when her world seemed to be completely shaken. It is about race, identity, trauma, family, and eventual movement toward a place of healing or acceptance. This book was wonderfully written with interesting metaphors tying all the pieces together.