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My Fathers' Daughter

A Story of Family and Belonging

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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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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.

"Remarkable...Pool's candor is striking...Her story is as much about an adopted child facing up to the challenge of tracing her biological family as it is about her search for African roots...[She gives] a sense of what it is like to be a young person of African descent who is unquestionably British." -- The Observer (U.K.)

"What a story. So vivid, honest and moving." -- Andrea Levy, author of Small Island

"In this beautifully honest book, Pool gives us a front-row view of how identity is built up, but also how it's dismantled...Simply engrossing." -- Time Out London

"Hannah Pool [is] a thoroughly engaging storyteller [who] offers us a different way of seeing...layered with subtleties. Although passages bring tears to the eyes, the sentiment is never pity. Rather awe -- at the depth of Hannah's experience, her courage in confronting it and her success, finally, in making sense of it all." -- The Sunday Times (London)

"Engaging and moving."' -- Mail on Sunday

"A moving story that sent shivers down my spine in its final moments. Hannah is an engaging raconteur, reporting her emotional highs and lows with insight and humor." -- The Bookseller

"[A] truly moving exploration of identity." -- Sunday Times