By michelle-lee : “Ghana Must Go” by Taiye Selasi – Hamish Hamilton – Penguin Books – 315 pages – $30.00
The debut novel by an author admired by Toni Morrison and Salmon Rushdie, tells the story of a family torn apart by the death of their father and chronicles the lives of those left behind – his wife and four children. A powerful novel of family that in many ways channels the author’s own experiences. Her Ghanaian father left the family including his Nigerian-born wife and their twin children to work in Saudi, Arabia. Her mother raised them as a single parent.
The author was born in London, raised in Massachusetts, educated at Yale and Oxford and now lives in Rome with a residence in Manhattan as well. A writer of fiction since early childhood she now also writes plays for the stage and screen. She currently has one of her screenplays in the development stage in Hollywood and another, adapted from “The House at Sugar Beach”, the Helene Cooper memoir, is to be brought to the screen by novice producer Alicia Keys. Although “Ghana Must Go” is not her family’s story, she says many of the details did come from her life but the characters and their life experiences are their own.