Cover art for Happiness

Happiness

4 ratings

Summary

From award-winning writer Aminatta Forna, a stunning novel bringing an American scientist and a Ghanaian psychologist together in London in a hunt for a missing boy - and an expansive, subtle tale of loss, hope, love, compassion, culture, and the true meaning of happiness. London. A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge. The distraction causes two pedestrians to collide - Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist there to deliver a keynote speech. From this chance encounter, Aminatta Forna's unerring powers of observation show how in the midst of the rush of a great city lie numerous moments of connection. Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; 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. As the search for Tano continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds. Meanwhile a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society he finds himself in, and a grief of his own. In this delicate tale of love and loss, of cruelty and kindness, Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness.

©2018 Aminatta Forna (P)2018 Recorded Books

Narrator: Robin Miles
Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
Available on Audible
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The Memory of Love

3 ratings

Summary

The Telegraph (UK) calls Aminatta Forna’s Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning tale an “affecting, passionate and intelligent novel about the redemptive power of love and storytelling.” 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.

©2010 Aminatta Forna (P)2011 W.F. Howes Ltd.

Length: 20 hrs and 26 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Hired Man

The Hired Man

Summary

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. With The Hired Man, she has delivered a tale of a Croatian village after the War of Independence, and a family of newcomers who expose its secrets. Duro is off on a morning's hunt when he sees something one rarely does in Gost: a strange car. Later that day, he overhears its occupants, a British woman, Laura, and her two children, who have taken up residence in a house Duro knows well. He offers his assistance getting their water working again, and soon he is at the house every day, helping get it ready as their summer cottage, and serving as Laura's trusted confidant. But the other residents of Gost are not as pleased to have the interlopers, and as Duro and Laura's daughter Grace uncover and begin to restore a mosaic in the front that has been plastered over, Duro must be increasingly creative to shield the family from the town's hostility, and his own past with the house's former occupants. As the inhabitants of Gost go about their days, working, striving to better themselves and their town, and arguing, the town's volatile truths whisper ever louder. A masterpiece of storytelling haunted by lost love and a restrained menace, this novel recalls Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee and Ani's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje. The Hired Man confirms Aminatta Forna as one of our most important writers.

©2013 Aminatta Forna (P)2013 W.F. Howes

Narrator: Mark Leadbetter
Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Devil That Danced on the Water

The Devil That Danced on the Water

Summary

Praised as "a shining example of what autobiography can be: harrowing, illuminating and thoughtful" (USA Today), Aminatta Forna's intensely personal history is a passionate and vivid account of an idyllic childhood which became the stuff of nightmare. As a child she witnessed the upheavals of post-colonial Africa, danger, flight, the bitterness of exile in Britain, and the terrible consequences of her dissident father's stand against tyranny. Mohamed Forna was a man of unimpeachable integrity and enchanting charisma. As Sierra Leone faced its future as a fledgling democracy, he was a new star in the political firmament, a man who had been one of the first black students to come to Britain after the war. He stole the heart of Aminatta's mother to the dismay of her Presbyterian parents and returned with her to Sierra Leone. But as Aminatta Forna shows with compelling clarity, the old Africa was torn apart by new ways of western parliamentary democracy, which gave birth only to dictatorships and corruption of hitherto undreamed-of magnitude. It was not long before Mohamed Forna languished in jail as a prisoner of conscience, and worse to follow. Aminatta's search for the truth that shaped both her childhood and the nation's destiny began among the country's elite and took her into the heart of rebel territory. Determined to break the silence surrounding her father's fate, she ultimately uncovered a conspiracy that penetrated the highest reaches of government and forced the nation's politicians and judiciary to confront their guilt. The Devil that Danced on the Water is a book of pain and anger and sorrow, written with tremendous dignity and beautiful precision: a remarkable, and important, story of Africa.

©2002 Aminatta Forna. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Narrator: Sara Auber
Length: 16 hrs and 55 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for BBC National Short Story Award 2010 (5 Shortlisted Titles)

BBC National Short Story Award 2010 (5 Shortlisted Titles)

Summary

The 5 shortlisted titles for the BBC National Short Story Award 2010 administered in partnership with Booktrust, containing:

Tea at the Midland by David Constantine, David Constantine 2010 Haywards Heath by Aminatta Forna, Aminatta Forna 2010 Butcher’s Perfume by Sarah Hall, Sarah Hall 2010 If It Keeps on Raining by Jon McGregor, Jon McGregor 2010 My Daughter the Racist by Helen Oyeyemi, Helen Oyeyemi 2010

©AudioGO Ltd 2010

Available on Audible
Cover art for Ancestor Stones

Ancestor Stones

Summary

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. Asana, Mariama, Hawa, and Serah: theirs is the story of a nation, a family, and four women's attempts to alter the course of her own destiny. Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland and raised in West Africa and the UK. Her most recent novel The Hired Man is a tale of love, loss, betrayal, and war in Croatia. Her previous novel The Memory of Love (April 2010), was winner of the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize Best Book Award, and shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2011, the IMPAC 2012, and the 2011 Warwick Prize.

©2006 Aminatta Forna (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Narrator: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
Available on Audible