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Aminatta Forna


Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna is the author of the novels ANCESTOR STONES, THE MEMORY OF LOVE and THE HIRED MAN, as well as the memoir THE DEVIL THAT DANCED ON THE WATER. Forna’s books have been translated into 16 languages. Her essays have appeared in Granta, The Guardian, The Observer and Vogue. She is currently the Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University.

Aminatta Forna

Books by Aminatta Forna

by Aminatta Forna - Essays, Nonfiction

In this collection of new and previously published essays, Aminatta Forna writes intimately about displacement, trauma and memory, love, and how we coexist and encroach on the non-human world. Movement is a constant here. In the title piece, “The Window Seat,” she reveals the unexpected enchantments of commercial air travel. In “The Last Vet,” time spent shadowing Dr. Jalloh, the only veterinarian in Sierra Leone, as he works with the street dogs of Freetown, becomes a meditation on what a society’s treatment of animals tells us about its principles. In “Crossroads,” Forna examines race in America from an African perspective, and in “Power Walking,” she describes what it means to walk in the world in a Black woman’s body.

by Aminatta Forna - Fiction

Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece” who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing. When, by chance, Attila runs into Jean again, she mobilizes the network of rubbish men she uses as volunteer fox spotters. Security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens --- mainly West African immigrants who work the myriad streets of London --- come together to help. Meanwhile, a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society in which he finds himself, and a grief of his own.