Like An Acrobat On the Water by Ubah Cristina Ali Farah

Before an audience composed of graduate students and faculty, from both UCLA and off campus, author Ubah Cristina Ali Farah discussed her novel The Commander of the River (2023) with Prof. Thomas Harrison of ELTS. The question-and-answer session engaged input from the audience and revolved around questions of being and not-being at home in nations and in language, of living in traditions marked by patrilineal and patriarchal breakdowns, and of weighing the gender of the writing self against that of the fictional protagonist. It also glanced at the difference between dialogical idioms characteristic of some and declarative styles of others. The Commander of the River is Cristina Ali Farah’s second novel in English, splendidly translated by Hope Campbell Gustavson and published in the series Global African Voices of Indiana University Press, directed by Prof. Dominic Thomas of ELTS.


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