A poignant story about friendship, betrayal, obsession and second chances – this novel is an immensely powerful portrayal of human resilience. Sierra Leone: civil war has left an entire population with terrible secrets to keep. In the capital's hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon, is plagued by demons. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a university professor who recalls the love that drove him to acts that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect, Kai and Elias are drawn unwittingly closer and into the path of one woman at the centre of their stories.
The new novel from the winner of the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, The Hired Man, is a taut, powerful novel of a small town and its dark wartime secrets, unwittingly brought into the light by a family of outsiders. Aminatta Forna has established herself as one of our most perceptive and uncompromising chroniclers of war and the way it reverberates, sometimes imperceptibly, in the daily lives of those touched by it.
"Surprising but it takes time to get there."
In the aftermath of Sierra Leone’s 1990s civil war, British psychologist Adrian Lockheart comes to work at the Freetown hospital. There he meets a dying elderly patient who confesses to Adrian his past crimes of passion and betrayal.
"A worthy contribution to modern African Literature"
The 5 shortlisted titles for the BBC National Short Story Award 2010 administered in partnership with Booktrust, containing:Tea at the Midland by David ConstantineDavid Constantine 2010 Haywards Heath by Aminatta FornaAminatta Forna 2010Butcher’s Perfume by Sarah HallSarah Hall 2010If It Keeps on Raining by Jon McGregorJon McGregor 2010My Daughter the Racist by Helen OyeyemiHelen Oyeyemi 2010
Beyond the boundaries of the town of Gost, Croatia, an old house which has lain empty for years is showing signs of life: Laura and her teenage children have arrived. As Duro Kolak, a local handyman, helps with repairs to the old house, they uncover a mosaic beneath the ruined plaster and painstakingly restore it. But Gost is not all it seems; conflicts long past still suppurate beneath the scars.
Abie returns home from England to West Africa to visit her family after years of civil war, and to reclaim the family plantation, Kholifa Estates, formerly owned by her grandfather. There to meet her are her aunts: Asana, Mariama, Hawa, and Serah, and so begins her gathering of the family and the country's history through the tales of her aunts.
"A Masterpiece, soon to be a Classic."
Abie follows the arc of a letter from London back to Africa to a coffee plantation that now could be hers if she wants it. Standing among the ruined groves she strains to hear the sound of the past, but the layers of years are too many. Thus begins the gathering of her family's history through the tales of her aunts - four women born to four different wives of a wealthy plantation owner, her grandfather.
"Beautiful, faithful story"
An intimate and moving portrait of a family combined with an account of the events which swept through Africa in the postindependence period. Aminatta Forna’s intensely personal history is a passionate and vivid account of an African childhood - of an idyll that became a nightmare. As a child she witnessed the upheavals of post-colonial Africa, the bitterness of exile in Britain and the terrible consequences of her dissident father’s stand against tyranny.
Memories of a lost love lead to a much anticipated reunion, but things do not turn out as expected. The BBC National Short Story Award 2010 administered in partnership with Booktrust.