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valoraciones:
4.5/5 (4 valoraciones)
Longitud:
267 página
2 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Mar 27, 2014
ISBN:
9781780370361
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Lara is a powerful semi-autobiographical novel-in-verse based on Bernardine Evaristo's own childhood and family history. The eponymous Lara is a mixed-race girl raised in Woolwich, a white suburb of London, during the 60s and 70s. Her father, Taiwo, is Nigerian, and her mother, Ellen, is white British. They marry in the 1950s, in spite of fierce opposition from Ellen's family, and quickly produce eight children in ten years. Lara is their fourth child and we follow her journey from restricted childhood to conflicted early adulthood, and then from London to Nigeria to Brazil as she seeks to understand herself and her ancestry. The novel travels back over 150 years, seven generations and three continents of Lara's ancestry. It is the story of Irish Catholics leaving generations of rural hardship behind and ascending to a rigid middle class in England; of German immigrants escaping poverty and seeking to build a new life in 19th century London; and of proud Yorubas enslaved in Brazil, free in colonial Nigeria and hopeful in post-war London. Lara explores the lives of those who leave one country in search of a better life elsewhere, but who end up struggling to be accepted even as they lay the foundations for their children and future generations. This is a new edition of Bernardine Evaristo's first novel Lara, rewritten and expanded by a third since its first publication in 1997.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Mar 27, 2014
ISBN:
9781780370361
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

Anglo-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo is the celebrated author of seven books, which have been nominated for awards including the 2019 Booker Prize. Her writing is characterized by experimentation, daring, subversion, and challenging the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities, and her books range in genre from poetry to short story to drama to criticism. She lives in London.

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Lara - Bernardine Evaristo

BERNARDINE EVARISTO

LARA

Lara is a powerful semi-autobiographical novel-in-verse based on Bernardine Evaristo’s own childhood and family history. The eponymous Lara is a mixed-race girl raised in Woolwich, a white suburb of London, during the 60s and 70s. Her father, Taiwo, is Nigerian, and her mother, Ellen, is white British. They marry in the 1950s, in spite of fierce opposition from Ellen’s family, and quickly produce eight children in ten years. Lara is their fourth child and we follow her journey from restricted childhood to conflicted early adulthood, and then from London to Nigeria to Brazil as she seeks to understand herself and her ancestry.

The novel travels back over 150 years, seven generations and three continents of Lara’s ancestry. It is the story of Irish Catholics leaving generations of rural hardship behind and ascending to a rigid middle class in England; of German immigrants escaping poverty and seeking to build a new life in 19th century London; and of proud Yorubas enslaved in Brazil, free in colonial Nigeria and hopeful in post-war London. Lara explores the lives of those who leave one country in search of a better life elsewhere, but who end up struggling to be accepted even as they lay the foundations for their children and future generations.

This is a new edition of Bernardine Evaristo’s first novel Lara, rewritten and expanded by a third since its first publication in 1997.

‘Lara is a wonderful piece…extraordinarily beautiful… rich and evocative… fascinating in its span of time and continents. Like all the best writing, by the end I felt not only a little older, but a lot wiser’ –

ANDREA LEVY

.

‘A short, lyrical, vividly real novel-in-verse, dipping 150 years into the past to explore the family history of a British woman with a Nigerian father and English mother. It’s funny, touching, informative, passionate and very easy to read. If you’re tired of novels that all seem the same, this one’s a complete original’ – Daily Telegraph (Books of the Year).

BERNARDINE EVARISTO

LARA

‘the family is like water’

For Jack (Obayomi), Charlie (Oladimeji),

Natasha (Iyabo) and Marlon (Akinola)

Inheritors of this history…

However far the stream flows,

it never forgets its source

YORUBA PROVERB

INDEX OF FIRST LINES

Title Page

Dedication

LARA DA COSTA FAMILY TREE

Epigraph

Part One

PROLOGUE

Sugar cane, damp musky earth, saccharine vanilla

CHAPTER

1

Oh Mama! Your pride when I boarded the Apapa

Sam says this country is like fishermen’s bait, Mama

My nickname is Bill now, after William the Conqueror

Winter’s arthritic tress lace evening’s broody sky

Ellen thought British boys danced like ironing-boards

Ellen wanted to marry the Heavenly Bridegroom

The supreme test of submission to the Will of God

You will go to your husband as an uncrushed flower

CHAPTER

2

Baby Ellen was the cherished, cuddled, coddled

I pour dreams onto Ellen like syrup on treacle tart

My husband Leslie walks like a subaltern on parade

Peggy invested in the future, the past – a pit to fall down

Emma was delivered into her mamaí’s dying arms

‘They want to make us suckle Sasanach words’

Sure it’s a peat hovel, but it’s our home

I awoke cuddling a chilly bough

CHAPTER

3

Chintz, carpets, mahogany, marquetry

I’m the scullery maid, the skivvy, the flunky

Only way to escape is through marriage

I’ve already won some green ribbons at the staff fair

The miracle of his wet tongue in combat with mine

He was so dashing marching in the parades

CHAPTER

4

The sweaty armpit of London: the seven septic

Everything’s all right

‘Henry Robbins of Brackley, Northamptonshire’

Twenty of us last time in the Black Maria

One hundred children in this classroom and still

My hands are crab’s claws

No pleasing the narky wife

Sebastian Aloysius Burt

CHAPTER

5

Mary Jane and Sebastian got hitched in Holborn

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Mary Jane stitched food into her children’s mouths

The past framed itself into a child-crowded doorway

‘The sky’s a bowl of dirty washing-up water’

CHAPTER

6

The sirens sounded, an eerie deafening wail

I was in the kitchen slicing ham for afternoon tea

Dew shivers on wild grass blades, tremulous tears

Redcurrant, blackcurrant, blackberries, gooseberries

Visitors glide through the folly like woodland fairies

Dear mummy and daddy, thank you for the choklate

Dear Gerard, London is full of broken buildings

Dear Gerard, I am now at St Joseph’s Convent

CHAPTER

7

The year Lizbet is crowned, Everest conquered

My dear boy, praise the almighty that you are safe

I burn up all night. I burn up

Tears are for sissies, women and Nancy-boys

‘Oh! He’s not too dark, is he?’ Edith grimaced

A workman’s drill reverberated in Ellen’s head

Hope rises with the sun over London’s spring streets

Two veiled alabaster Madonnas reside as mantelpiece

Gossiping locals are incensed. A nigger! A darkie!

Sky rips its sagging grey hymen with a fingernail

A rainbow flashes the exhausted sky

Peggy’s duck pillows become ponds when Ellen visits

‘And how many wives do you have, Bill?’

Disloyalty slimes into my kitchen like slugs at night

CHAPTER

8

‘Was born in a fog and been in one ever since’

Came into this world covered in boils

Peggy’s such a dainty, doll-like little thing

My wife and my mother can’t stand each other

So when Ellen brought this coloured fellow home

CHAPTER

9

Louis Wilkening felt like a Teutonic titan

Robbed of his clogs, rats chewed his toes, bats

The Asylum for the Houseless Poor

Sugar baking is ze chit vurk of ze devil

Ich bin ein Master Baker, Louis would proudly declare

Edwin and George Huxtable, my chums next door

A man is not a man until he has produced sons

Gladys dreams of a Royal Doulton flushing toilet

When hoardings declare war with Germany

One sticky summer’s night Woolwich seethed

I am a man not a nation, Louis was given to say

Part Two

CHAPTER

10

‘Ellie, marry me soon, you are of age now’

Snowflakes sprinkled down that cold Christmas eve

My hands cup two creamy breasts

I shot into creation as sperm from my father’s penis

I got two big googly eyes an’ tufty hair

A fizzy-eyed beauty with Ovaltine skin, Juliana,

173 Eglinton Road, ‘Atlantico’, sits like a fat Victorian

If I were a poet, Ellen muses, I’d say life’s a mangle

A cats’ chorus rains onto corrugated dustbins

CHAPTER

11

Dawn released London from anonymous night

My children will not swim in a lake of lost dreams

The key turned, the front door

He called me downstairs, potatoes were boiling

I want Mummy Cake! I want Daddy Cake!

By the sloping woods daffodils bloom in the spring sun

Notre Dame’s regime was run by Mother Superior

Nineteen Sixty-seven, our father is crying

I am a strong man but pain is a warrior too

CHAPTER

12

An emerald Raleigh cycled through Lara’s childhood

Lara’s skin oozed honey in late summer’s oven

Tank tops, Curly Wurlys, blue mascara, Top 20

‘Wanna bite, Soos? Wanna bite, La?’

‘Wish I had hair like yours, Soos. It’s so nice’

Beneath the squawking eaves of her attic retreat

‘Where’re’you from, La?’ Susie suddenly asked

‘You didn’t do it with him, did you?’

His hairy tentacles grope under a silver lurex halter

Groovers Disco shimmied with skinny teenagers

Home. I searched but could not find myself

CHAPTER

13

The National Front juggernaut braked in our street

Thor Heyerdahl’s books sailed me to Fatu Hiva

O to cartwheel knickerless into spring

‘Don’t say hello then, you miserable lot’

Evening hit the skyline, diffused the light

‘Yes, you can yawn all right, it suits you’

‘If your Uncle Sam was alive he’d have a story’

CHAPTER

14

Laudate Dominum, Mozart’s quavers were brown

I stand for hours, still Madonna, lachrymose

Hidden in the moist entrails of Atlantico

‘There was a child went forth every day’

‘My tribe is Yoruba, that is my language’

As Lara approached the terraced box, she chucked

No da Costa photos memoried the mantelpiece

Your mother should have married Stephen Brown

Sunday’s winter powdered suburbia with snow

CHAPTER

15

I began to dip into my skin like a wet suit

Josh, your limbs were waves. I swam

I was jelly, you were my mould, yet

‘You’ll not marry a Nigerian if you can’t obey me’

Lautrec posters, blue lamps, Portobello pub

Fury rode me. A wild buckjumper

Ablaze with the sharp and the syrup, yeh

I nightmare, damply scream into silence

‘You’re an undressed genius, Lara.’ Trish unwraps

It’s pissing down out the jeep, out the door, pissoir

Empty roads guzzle us up, frazzled tarmac

He smelt of the sea. Hakan. And fish

CHAPTER

16

I was her daughter for fifty-four years

Drizzle. Reluctant Wednesday. Smoker’s sky

When Nana died the sea began to surge

CHAPTER

17

Lara descended fearfully over desert into Lagos

Sliced dodo browned, crisped in hot oil pans

Central Lagos. December ’93. Sweltering

Dazzling. Whitewashed. He leans on the balcony

‘Dead bodies in the streets for days, open sewers’

Henrique Oliveira’s cottage is dead

CHAPTER

18

Lagos Island cooking. It simmers all day long

No wind. No air. Red-necked lizards crawl up walls

Far from her Sowemima family in Abeokuta, Zenobia

The twins grow into podgy little puddings

Kehinde will die young, like a butterfly

Gregorio, a face serene as a Benin bronze

White square room, plastered walls, curtains drawn

Cruel harmattans conquered the south, sweeping

I am a boy, I go like fire, why walk when you can run

Sea-black, wave-curved lips and decayed yellow teeth

CHAPTER

19

The gods born me on a fazenda in the hills of Brazil

Children forget what is too painful to remember

Ten blistered summers raised me on that remote fazenda

Like a sun-dried tobacco leaf, prematurely aged

When Africans came from the coast, I dreamt the ocean

We were emancipados, with papers to prove it

I took off for the jungle where I could lose myself

‘Candomblé has always been in my blood’

My son swam into this world, cooked in Joana’s juices

Was this the land of my great-grandmother home?

CHAPTER

20

Shakespeare, Keats, Socrates and the Romans’

Gourd-belled, guava-sweet, crisp as custard apple

Sometimes a child drowns in a storm drain

She stood there, in her best blue wrapper and head-tie

EPILOGUE

Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer

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