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Her Kweku Sai who becomes a highly respected surgeon in the US only to be disillusioned by a grotesue injustice; his Nigerian wife Fola the beautiful homemaker abandoned in his wake; their eldest son Olu determined to reconstruct the life his father should have had; their twin Philip Hensher encapsulated it in his Spectator review of the Granta Best Young British Novelists of whom Selasi is one bog standard products of the American creative writing machine present tense narratives introducing western readers to exotic places with a surface conventional lyricism and a glossary explaining how to pronounce LagosThose who don t share this jaded cynical sense of a generic litfic creative writing course MFA style may take kindly to Ghana Must Go a family saga that mixes Jonathan Franzen Zadie Smith s On Beauty and a bit Africa for good measure I m not saying that there aren t some lovely metaphors and descriptions here bits of alliterative wordplay I liked moments that pull at the heart occasionally with personal resonance but it was easy to forget them when wading through paragraphs of that standard over serious poetic stuff I found most of the scenes in West Africa interesting anything which provided a sense of a culture I don t know well but chiefly this is an American book another moderately fucked up upscale intellectual family over a few decades One of today s favoured templates just as Austen s three or four families in a country village once wasIt s possible to imagine being uite impressed with this book in a different context she was the best writer in our year but set alongside the amount of hype it s received nope I think the hype simply shows how much attention you can get for your okay first novel if you went to Harvard AND Oxford AND have the right media friendly personality and opinions AND have already worked in the industry Looking like a supermodel rarely does any harm either The publishers could have done with editing and to encourage rewriting To some surely they would have said this is promising but come back to us with your next novel instead I don t reuire fast paced books but in the first 200 pages Ghana Must Go actually became repetitive and tedious Moments of Kweku s the father s death are slowed down like time lapse photography and supplied every few pages between flashbacks to various parts of his past life and his family s then in Part II the same happens with the moments people find out he has died Described this way I like the approach but as it is in the book it doesn t work very well it s too drawn out and even sometimes disorganised It s a structure perhaps better suited to film Selasi has also worked in TV and screenwriting The characters as they each first appear have believable essences that make them seem somehow real than the book Kweku being the best drawn But as the story wears on there are a lot of details and responses that don t fit together psychologically that feel like the work of a writer who s either very young and sheltered or isn t a briliant observer of a really wide range of people and also doesn t know much psychology in depth just taking bits and pieces from the media Many of the best writers including those from hundreds of years before anything specifically about psychology was written down can transmit a sense of three dimensional people who possess attachment styles and schemas of relating and reacting based on their experiences show clearly how these were formed in their early lives and how they were affected later Selasi s characters aren t entirely without psychological depth it s that there are collage like instances of that happened to them therefore they do this but often without setting it in the wider context of the person s earlier experiences and therefore certain things just do not compute And as this is not a great novel and also a first novel from someone with what appears to be a very privileged background this might be a cheap shot the inclusion of a particular serious issue that s uite common in recent fiction films etc seems somewhat exploitative view spoilerBy which I mean the abusive uncle and the forced incest There s such an awful lot of this sort of thing in fiction currently that it does start to seem tacky and exploitative unless the writer honestly needs to include it for personal reasons Or unless it s the sort of pulp in which you don t expect any better However we shouldn t expect authors to make personal disclosures about traumatic experiences unless they want to anyway hide spoiler

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Ghana Must Go

This is the story of a family of the simple devastating ways in which families tear themselves apart and of the incredible lengths to which a family will go to put itself back togetherIt is the story of one family the Sais whose good life crumbles in an evening; a Ghanaian fat Very impressive debut novel about a NigerianGhanaian family who are fragmented when Kweku the father is wrongly dismissed from his post as a surgeon in a Massachusetts hospital Too ashamed to admit his predicament to his family he abandons them and moves back to his native land His loyal Nigerian wife Fola and their four children are left to piece together the mystery of his disappearance The novel begins with Kweku dying of a heart attack in his new Ghanaian home To all intents and purposes he is dying of a broken heart His death will reunite a family which has splintered as a result of his disappearance There s lots of brilliant writing in this novel some overwriting too some clever plotting some over elaboration too and some impressive structuring It offers plenty of insights into the challenges of migration not least of all the stresses and strains of freuently having to adapt identity I ll definitely be reading her next novel

free download Ghana Must Go

S seductive Taiwo and acclaimed artist Kehinde both brilliant but scarred and flailing; their youngest Sadie jealously in love with her celebrity best friend All of them sent reeling on their disparate paths into the world Until one day tragedy spins the Sais in a new directio guys I literally like actually physically inexplicably had to stop myself from taking a bite of this book My desire to devour it to internalize it and at the same time to curl up in it and be surrounded by it was that strong So Kweku the father of four brilliant surgeon loving husband and then none of those things abandoning the roles without actually leaving them behind in his heart Sixteen years after he left Boston and his family behind he dies suddenly leaving his ex wife and children with too many things unsaid They have continents of mis and non communication within them for a group that started out so solidly as a nuclear family but Kweku s leaving burned deep scars into them allBut whatever A plot device this long delayed bringing back together of once close family members complete with sad revelations and falling into old patterns and tears and tears and joinings It s good stuff undoubtedly and Selasi balances each of the five survivors with delicacy weaving their stories just tightly enough to hold while still seeing their individual lovely shadesThe magic is in the writing Follow the ways color attuned and monochromatic sensibilities speak about each character Delve into the truths about identity and self perception and heritage Admire the use of dialogue and the silences within dialogue See the emotions transparent in the empathic guts of the Sai family Discover the terrifying beauty of Selasi s writing and after you ve read it and re read it come back and tell me how damn right I amBut if it s a library book don t actually chew on the novel It s bad form


10 thoughts on “Ghana Must Go

  1. says:

    Real talk the first third or so of the book is a damn mess slow not fully realized kind of irritating because it could be better with

  2. says:

    So what d'you reckon did you fall for the hype on this oneWell yes to a certain extent I mean with over 100000 new

  3. says:

    Very impressive debut novel about a NigerianGhanaian family who are fragmented when Kweku the father is wrongly dismissed from his post as a surgeon in a Massachusetts hospital Too ashamed to admit his predicament to his family he a

  4. says:

    “Then Ghana and the smell of Ghana a contradiction a cracked clay pot the smell of dryness wetness both the damp earth an

  5. says:

    This is how a reader gets the distinct feeling of being ripped off when the publishers are obviously so keen to jump on the publicity bandwagon that they don't bother with a proof read at all How else would you explain the mis spelling of the main character's name in the blurb on the back All through the novel his name i

  6. says:

    Philip Hensher encapsulated it in his Spectator review of the Granta Best Young British Novelists of whom Selasi is one bog standard products o

  7. says:

    About 10 years ago I spent 3 4 months teaching English in a tiny Ghanaian village electricity only in two or three houses no running water in the heart of the Ashanti region I realize that a this does not make m

  8. says:

    Much as I resisted it to start with I ended up loving this beautiful novel about a complex African American family full of secrets estrangements and shifting alliances Despite their disparate settings the storyline reminded me most of Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a HeatwaveWith its wise commentary on race and class in America it

  9. says:

    guys I literally like actually physically inexplicably had to stop myself from taking a bite of this book My desire to devour it to internalize it and at the same time to curl up in it and be surrounded by it was that strong So Kweku the father of four brilliant surgeon loving husband and then none of those things abandoning the roles without actually leaving them behind in his heart Sixteen years after he left Boston and his fam

  10. says:

    It's not you Taiye it's meI don't know why I feel like none of the characters have enough of a personality to seem human despite being well stocked with anguished personal histories and appropriate mixes of generic and uniue traits except Olu's Asian American wife Ling who seems particularly ill served Her politely racist father direct from central casting is at least spared the indignity of being thought 'cute' But perhaps the viewpoint

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