An Observer hotly-tipped debut for 2019, Stubborn Archivist is a blazing novel from a brilliant new voice in literary fiction
'Compelling . . . it should delight anyone looking for a thoughtful, witty successor to Sally Rooney' Observer
'Stunning' Olivia Laing
'This novel is a triumph' Musa Okwonga
'I liked Stubborn Archivist very very much' Claire-Louise Bennett
'A talent to watch' Nikesh Shukla
When your mother considers another country home, it's hard to know where you belong. When the people you live among can't pronounce your name, it's hard to know exactly who you are. And when your body no longer feels like your own, it's hard to understand your place in the world.
This is a novel of growing up between cultures, of finding your space within them and of learning to live in a traumatized body. Our stubborn archivist tells her story through history, through family conversations, through the eyes of her mother, her grandmother and her aunt and slowly she begins to emerge into the world, defining her own sense of identity.
With an exceptionally light touch, the debut novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler uses dialogue to sketch out a young woman's awkward attempts to articulate and reconcile different aspects of who she is . . . The novel ends with a tiny movement, a moment of discovery all the more tantalizing for remaining largely unexpressed, and this is undoubtedly the novel's strength: its ability to show something momentous - about cultural identity, sexual violence, racial prejudice - without seeming to say anything at all - TLS
Strikingly original - Sunday Express
Rodrigues Fowler's debut novel is a timely exploration of what it means to understand past and present and the delicate balance of embracing two cultures simultaneously...Original and thought-provoking, this is a book that's well worth your time - Stylist
Yara Rodrigues Fowler has written something extraordinary, playing with structure to create an insightful, lyrical and visceral novel - Emerald Street
Compelling . . . it should delight anyone looking for a thoughtful, witty successor to Sally Rooney - Observer
Stubborn Archivist is an intimate and wonderfully resourceful exploration of origins. In its quest to uncover what a person is made of it digs deeply into the living body, as well as tracing back through its tangled roots. Visceral and elegant, circumspect and vivid, Yara Rodrigues Fowler has a distinctly unhampered way of telling a story; I liked Stubborn Archivist very very much.
I read Stubborn Archivist in a ravenous gulp. It's stunning: so articulate about what it means to live between two languages and countries, tenderly unravelling the knots of unbelonging.
My goodness. Yara Rodrigues-Fowler has conjured a work of rare power, startlingly original form, and devastating beauty. This novel is a triumph