Authors Louis Chude-Sokei (Floating in a Most Peculiar Way) and Nadia Owusu (Aftershocks) discuss their memoirs, extraordinary stories that trace the authors’ lives through entangled relationships with loved ones across landscapes and cultures in Africa and America. Each author has worked to build and recognize their own identities, writing their own stories to determine where they belong and what belonging even means for a member of the African diaspora in America.

As part of the all-virtual 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book, this event is FREE to attend and open to the public. To attend, please register below or simply make plans to watch on The video recording from this event will also be available to watch after the event concludes, on

This event will include live-captioning.

Thanks to our bookseller for this event, UVA Bookstore.

“This is autobiography at its best. In stories of the multiple blended accents, atrocities, musics, prejudices and foods of London, Biafra, Jamaica, D.C., South Central L.A. and elsewhere, Chude-Sokei confronts the nightmare of history—along with the persistent, sometimes joyful adventure of awakening from it.” —Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States, 1997-2000

“Throughout the book, Owusu writes poignantly about belonging and assimilation…as she grapples with identity and her willingness to erase the most vibrant parts of herself in an attempt to belong. Owusu is unflinching in examining herself, which is commendable… In the end, Owusu ultimately answers what home is. Her definition is pure and restorative to read. ‘I am made of the earth, flesh, ocean, blood and bone of all the places I tried to belong to and all the people I long for. I am pieces. I am whole. I am home.’” —The New York Times


Thanks to the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission for their support of this program.

Community Partners

Thanks to our community partners for sharing information about this event: the Carter G. Woodson Institute at UVA, the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVA.

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