by Trifonia Melibea Obono
This coming-of-age story from Equatorial Guinea chronicles a teenage girl’s quest to find out who she is.
“Though I live a world away from Equatorial Guinea, I saw so much of myself in Okomo: a tomboy itching to be free and to escape society’s rigged game. I cheered her on with every page, and wished—for myself and all girls—for the bravery to create our own world.” —Maggie Thrash, author of Honor Girl
The first novel by an Equatorial Guinean woman to be translated into English, La Bastarda is the story of the orphaned teen Okomo, who lives under the watchful eye of her grandmother and dreams of finding her father. Forbidden from seeking him out, she enlists the help of other village outcasts: her gay uncle and a gang of “mysterious” girls reveling in their so-called indecency. Drawn into their illicit trysts, Okomo finds herself falling in love with their leader and rebelling against the rigid norms of Fang culture.
Trifonia Melibea Obono is a journalist and political scientist who researches women and gender in Africa. She is a professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences department of the National University of Equatorial Guinea. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in gender studies and human rights from the University of Salamanca, Spain. Her short story "La Negra" was included in the anthology Voces feministas de Guinea Ecuatorial (Barcelona: Mey 2015) and her first novel, Herencia de bindendee, was published by Editions del Auge (Madrid: 2016).
The Queer Book Club was founded who knows how many years ago by two Smith grads, new in town and hoping to meet women. Since then, we've met many smart queers of various genders, read heaps of books, laughed a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We read books by and/or about queers: classics, contemporary and genre fiction, graphic novels, non-fiction, memoirs, plays, and poetry. We convene the third Wednesday of the month at 7 PM. After our discussion of the book chosen for the month, we adjourn to a local watering hole for socializing. Join us, even if you didn't get around to reading the book--you never know who you might meet!