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1 Burnside Africa- Sierra Leone

This title in other editions

The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Quest

by

The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Quest Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Aminatta Forna's intensely personal history is a passionate and vivid account of an idyllic childhood that became the stuff of nightmare. As a child she witnessed the upheavals of postcolonial 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 impeccable 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. [Forna's] harrowing description of her struggle ... to establish the truth of [her father's] deathmakes enormously compelling and painful reading. — Alex Clark, the Sunday Times (London) [An] engaging memoir ... An impressive contribution to the literature of post-colonial Africa. — Jason Cowley, The Times (London)

Review:

?Powerful....At once impassioned, lucid, and understandably enraged, The Devil That Danced on the Water illuminates the troubled, tragic history of a country and a continent. It helps us understand how the faraway events we?ve grown used to seeing on the nightly news?the violent coups, famines, mass murders, and migrations?affect the lives of individual men and women, of parents and children, of families just like our own....[This] book is populated with vibrant characters.? Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine

Review:

?Riveting....Memoir seems to soft a word for Aminatta Forna?s The Devil That Danced on the Water....The intimacy of a child?s domestic world contrasts acutely with the looming political backdrop....Mohamed Sorie Forna was the kind of young man upon whom a society?s hopes are built.? Eve MacSweeney, Vogue

Review:

?An evocative, disturbing mixture of memoir and investigative reporting....[Forna?s] recreation of the country she knew as a child and the father she idolized is deft and moving.? Sarah Goodyear, Time Out New York

Review:

?Harrowing....Forna writes with a compelling mix of distance and anguish, intent on explaining her father?s death and reclaiming his memory. Lush descriptions of her idyllic childhood provide eerie counter-point to chilling depictions of the hell Sierra Leone had become upon her return in recent years....Reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s House of Spirits, Forna?s work is a powerfully and elegantly written mix of complex history, riveting memoir and damning exposé.? Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

?Forna?s stunning memoir is both a tribute to her brave father and an important look at the sad state of politics in Sierra Leone.? Kristine Huntley, Booklist

Review:

?An extraordinary and gripping story....Forna?s book glows with compassion. A modern classic, of which her courageous father would have been proud.? Peter Godwin, author of Mukiwa

Review:

?An engrossing account of pain, love and discovery that had the capacity not only to make me understand but also to move me to tears.? Gillian Slovo, author of Every Secret Thing

Review:

?I had tears in my eyes almost the whole way through, although it is the least sentimental of books....Forna manages, quite brilliantly, to evoke not only all the honor and pity that is in her family?s story, but its beauty and tenderness too.? Katie Hickman, author of Daughters of Britannia

Review:

?This is a book of quite extraordinary power and beauty. Aminatta Forna has excavated not only her memory but the hidden recesses of the heart.? Fergal Keane

Review:

?A searing indictment of African tyranny mingled with bittersweet childhood memories.?Kirkus Reviews

Review:

?Impossible to forget ...An obsessive, driven, refreshing book about Africa, despotism and exile. It is also a beautifully drawn portrait of childhood....A memorial teeming with life, anger, love.? Christopher Hope, The Independent

Review:

?Devastating ...[Forna] writes so well....Her book deserves to go on the shelf next to Malan?s [My Traitor?s Heart]. It is excellent.? Aidan Hartley, The Literary Review

Review:

?Remarkable ...Extraordinary ...In writing this book [Forna] has acted her part well. She has lifted out of herself the emotional and cultural world of her childhood and represented it in scenes of startling beauty and tragedy. Few books merit being called courageous; this one does.? Rachel Cusk, The Evening Standard

Review:

?Gives a more personal framework for understanding the horror of the 1990s in the linked wars of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea ...[Forna?s] interviews with broken men are extremely moving, and tell everything of the world that vanished with her father.? Victoria Brittain, The Guardian

Review:

?[A] moving, impressive account ...[Forna?s] harrowing description of her struggle in adulthood to establish the truth of [her father?s] death makes enormously compelling and painful reading.?Alex Clark, Sunday Times (London)

Review:

?[An] engaging memoir ...It can also be read as a detective story....The observations have an appropriate strangeness and wonder, and there are moments of humor....An impressive contribution to the literature of post-colonial Africa.? Jason Cowley, Times (London)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780871138651
Subtitle:
A Daughter's Quest
Author:
Forna, Aminatta
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography - Political
Subject:
Sierra leone
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Series Volume:
no. 36
Publication Date:
January 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.22x6.32x1.27 in. 1.51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Africa » Sierra Leone
History and Social Science » World History » Africa

The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Quest Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871138651 Reviews:
"Review" by , ?Powerful....At once impassioned, lucid, and understandably enraged, The Devil That Danced on the Water illuminates the troubled, tragic history of a country and a continent. It helps us understand how the faraway events we?ve grown used to seeing on the nightly news?the violent coups, famines, mass murders, and migrations?affect the lives of individual men and women, of parents and children, of families just like our own....[This] book is populated with vibrant characters.?
"Review" by , ?Riveting....Memoir seems to soft a word for Aminatta Forna?s The Devil That Danced on the Water....The intimacy of a child?s domestic world contrasts acutely with the looming political backdrop....Mohamed Sorie Forna was the kind of young man upon whom a society?s hopes are built.?
"Review" by , ?An evocative, disturbing mixture of memoir and investigative reporting....[Forna?s] recreation of the country she knew as a child and the father she idolized is deft and moving.?
"Review" by , ?Harrowing....Forna writes with a compelling mix of distance and anguish, intent on explaining her father?s death and reclaiming his memory. Lush descriptions of her idyllic childhood provide eerie counter-point to chilling depictions of the hell Sierra Leone had become upon her return in recent years....Reminiscent of Isabelle Allende?s House of Spirits, Forna?s work is a powerfully and elegantly written mix of complex history, riveting memoir and damning exposé.?
"Review" by , ?Forna?s stunning memoir is both a tribute to her brave father and an important look at the sad state of politics in Sierra Leone.?
"Review" by , ?An extraordinary and gripping story....Forna?s book glows with compassion. A modern classic, of which her courageous father would have been proud.?
"Review" by , ?An engrossing account of pain, love and discovery that had the capacity not only to make me understand but also to move me to tears.?
"Review" by , ?I had tears in my eyes almost the whole way through, although it is the least sentimental of books....Forna manages, quite brilliantly, to evoke not only all the honor and pity that is in her family?s story, but its beauty and tenderness too.?
"Review" by , ?This is a book of quite extraordinary power and beauty. Aminatta Forna has excavated not only her memory but the hidden recesses of the heart.?
"Review" by , ?A searing indictment of African tyranny mingled with bittersweet childhood memories.?
"Review" by , ?Impossible to forget ...An obsessive, driven, refreshing book about Africa, despotism and exile. It is also a beautifully drawn portrait of childhood....A memorial teeming with life, anger, love.?
"Review" by , ?Devastating ...[Forna] writes so well....Her book deserves to go on the shelf next to Malan?s [My Traitor?s Heart]. It is excellent.?
"Review" by , ?Remarkable ...Extraordinary ...In writing this book [Forna] has acted her part well. She has lifted out of herself the emotional and cultural world of her childhood and represented it in scenes of startling beauty and tragedy. Few books merit being called courageous; this one does.?
"Review" by , ?Gives a more personal framework for understanding the horror of the 1990s in the linked wars of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea ...[Forna?s] interviews with broken men are extremely moving, and tell everything of the world that vanished with her father.?
"Review" by , ?[A] moving, impressive account ...[Forna?s] harrowing description of her struggle in adulthood to establish the truth of [her father?s] death makes enormously compelling and painful reading.?
"Review" by , ?[An] engaging memoir ...It can also be read as a detective story....The observations have an appropriate strangeness and wonder, and there are moments of humor....An impressive contribution to the literature of post-colonial Africa.?
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