Author(s): David Carlin
Sosina Wogayehu learnt to do flips and splits at the age of six, sitting on the floor of her parents' lounge room in Addis Ababa, watching a German variety show on the only television channel in the land. She sold cigarettes on the streets at the age of eight, and played table soccer with her friends who made money from washing cars, barefoot in the dust. She dreamed of being a circus performer. Twenty-five years later, Sosina has conjured herself a new life in a far-off country: Australia. She has rescued one brother and lost another. She has travelled the world as a professional contortionist. She can bounce-juggle eight balls on a block of marble. Sosina is able to juggle worlds and stories, too, and by luck - which is something Sosina is not short of - she has a friend, David Carlin, who is a writer. Following his acclaimed memoir Our Father Who Wasn't There, David brings us his 'not-me' book, travelling to Addis Ababa where he discovers ways of living so different to his own and confronts his Western fantasies and fears. Through Sosina's story he shows us that, with risk and enough momentum, life - whom we befriend, where we end up, how we come to see ourselves - is never predictable.