Daughter in Exile: A Novel
The acclaimed author of The Teller of Secrets returns with a gut-wrenching, yet heartwarming, story about a young Ghanaian woman’s struggle to make a life in the US, and the challenges she must overcome.
Lola is twenty-one, and her life in Senegal couldn’t be better. An aspiring writer and university graduate, she has a great job, a nice apartment, a vibrant social life, and a future filled with possibility. But fate disrupts her world when she falls for Armand, an American Marine stationed at the U.S. Embassy. Her mother, a high court judge in Ghana, disapproves of her choice, but nothing will stop Lola from boarding a plane for Armand and America.
That fateful flight is only the beginning of an extraordinary journey; she has traded her carefree existence in Senegal for the perilous position of an undocumented immigrant in 1990s America.
Lola encounters adversity that would crush a less-determined woman. Her fate hangs on whether or not she’ll grow in courage to forge a different life from one she’d imagined, whether she’ll succeed in putting herself and family together again. Daughter in Exile is a hope-filled story about mother love, resilience, and unyielding strength.
Praise for Daughter in Exile: A Novel
"Adjapon's dramatic and engaging character-driven story captures the trauma of living as an undocumented immigrant. Lola’s fortitude sends a clear message that human kindness and compassion can make all the difference." — Booklist (starred review)
"Fast-paced. Riveting. Heartbreaking. Far from the madding crowds of immigrant novels, Adjapon’s Daughter in Exile highlights the cultural differences that divide us and, ultimately, the shared humanity that brings us together." — Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
"Adjapon’s crackling dialogue and barbed humor feel close to the bone. Themes of classism, racism, and fierce feminism will appeal to book groups and readers of Mbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers or Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s Americanah." — Library Journal
"Lola’s experience of sisterhood and solidarity among women reshapes her understanding of her relationship with her own mother." — The New Yorker
"Through Lola’s heartbreaking plight, Adjapon illustrates the impossibilities of the immigrant experience in America. A thought-provoking read." — Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of My Sister, the Serial Killer
“Sensuous and intelligent, insightful, and riveting, Daughter in Exile is a deft exploration of motherhood and love, told through the eyes of a young woman determined to create her world on her terms. Bisi Adjapon uses language like a finely tuned instrument, alternating moments of warmth with devastating revelations about identity, family, and those lies we tell ourselves in order to keep moving forward. This is a must-read." — Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King, finalist for the Booker Prize
"In Daughter in Exile, Adjapon shows the indomitability of the human spirit while using words sparingly. A fantastic melding of art meeting message, Daughter in Exile is that must-read novel that we didn't know we needed until we got it." — Zukiswa Wanner, author of London, Cape Town, Joburg and Goethe Medal Recipient
“Daughter in Exile tugs at the heartstrings. Bisi Adjapon’s adorable Lola goes through some downright harrowing experiences, but the writing is so smooth, one can’t stop reading and rooting for her." — Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of Zainab Takes New York
“Bisi Adjapon's second novel confirms the promise she showed in her first novel. This is a beautifully written book about family, home and what it means to be human in this world.” — Helon Habila, Commonwealth Writers' Prize winner and author of Travelers
"What a rollercoaster! Daughter in Exile is an unflinching tale of what immigration to the West can be. It is also the humanity that is America, the contradiction that is the church and the resilience of an African woman: Bisi Adjapon does not hold back. It was hard to put down." — Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Windham Campbell Prize recipient and author of The First Woman
"Adjapon’s fast-moving, character-driven narrative illuminates the challenges faced by immigrants." — Publishers Weekly
"Daughter in Exile is an admirable addition to an impressive body of works produced by immigrant women writers: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers, and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. This novel is definitely worth reading." — World Literature Today