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The Center for Fiction Presents: Igiaba Scego on The Color Line

Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT November 1, 2022

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

In-person tickets include a $10 bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.

From internationally acclaimed Somali-Italian writer Igiaba Scego comes The Color Line, a gorgeous, haunting novel inspired by true events. We are happy to celebrate the new English translation of Scebo’s La linea del colore—which won the Premio Napoli Prize. The novel intertwines the lives of two Black female artists more than a century apart, both outsiders in Italy: In 1887, an African-American artist, Lafanu Brown, finds freedom in Rome as one of the city’s most established painters, after the rare opportunity to study, travel, and follow her dreams—but not without facing intolerance and violence. In 2019, an African-Italian art curator despairs over her Somali cousin’s quest to cross borders and reach Europe, while becoming more and more obsessed with the life and secrets of nineteenth-century painter Lafanu Brown. Maaza Mengiste calls the novel “a testament to the possibilities of liberation that rest in every act against injustice, and in every moment of artistic creation.”

Scego comes to our stage for a discussion about her powerful exploration of what it means to be “other,” to be a woman, and particularly a Black woman, in a foreign country, yesterday and today.

The color line - Eliana Cohen-Orth


  • Igiaba Scego © Simona Filippini - Eliana Cohen-Orth

    Igiaba Scego

    Igiaba Scego

    Igiaba Scego was born in Rome in 1974 to a family of Somali ancestry. She holds a PhD in education on postcolonial subjects and has done extensive academic work in Italy and around the world. Her memoir La mia casa è dove sono won Italy’s prestigious Mondello Prize. She is a frequent contributor to the magazine Internazionale and to Il Venerdì di Repubblica, a supplement to La Repubblica.

    Photo Credit: Simona Filippini