Stubborn Archivist
Yara Rodrigues Fowler

Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler


When your mother considers another country home, it’s hard to know where you belong.

When the people you live among can’t pronounce your name, it’s hard to know exactly who you are.

And when your body no longer feels like your own, it’s hard to understand your place in the world.

The stubborn archivist tells her story through history, through family conversations, through the eyes of her mother, her grandmother and her aunt, and slowly she begins to emerge into the world. Hers is a story of growing up between cultures, of finding your space within them and of learning to live in a traumatised body.

Praise from the Desmond Elliott Prize

‘This is the most beguiling of works, articulating with supple grace a chain of family histories that rattles down the generations. At its grandest it flings a lofty tightrope across the Atlantic divide; at its most intimate it brings home the challenge of walking the line between diverse languages, different countries. A familiar story but a fresh translation by one who has grown from the perceived hyphen between two cultures to its reconciling spirit.’

About the Author

Yara Rodrigues Fowler grew up in a Brazilian-English household in London, where she still lives. She has a BA in English from Oxford and an MA in Comparative Literature from UCL. She is a trustee of Latin American Women’s Aid, the only refuge run for and by Latin American women in the UK, and has also given workshops on gender and power to teenage girls with feminist organisation Fearless Futures. Yara’s writing has been published in Litro and she received a Special Mention in the 2015 Galley Beggar Press Short Story Competition.