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Aminatta Forna Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Ancestor Stones (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Memory of Love (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hired Man (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Happiness (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Angel of Mexico City (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Mother Of All Myths: How Society Moulds And Constrains Mothers (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter's Quest (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Granta Book of the African Short Story(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
One World Two(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Freeman's Power(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Daughters of Africa(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not Quite Right For Us(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Aminatta Forna
A Scottish and Sierra Leonean writer, Aminatta Forna is well known for her unique and heavily stylized approach to writing. Really understanding the form, she speaks in a manner that is direct, honest and true, getting straight to the point for her many readers. Finding a global audience, she is definitely a writer with a lot to say too, allowing her writing to flow seemingly effortlessly across the page. Becoming a household name for many, she really excels at her craft, entertaining and informing her audience in equal measure.

With an intelligent and idiosyncratic approach, she keeps her readers hooked with every turn of the page, always ensuring that they come back for more. Writing numerous essays too, she’s produced work for a number of different prestigious literary publications as well. This has seen her build a brand and name quite unlike any other currently out there, reaching scores of readers worldwide. Engaging her audience, it’s her compelling stories that really grab the reader, keeping them glued to the page from the outset.

It’s also her characters that truly resonate, as they come off the page, leaving an impact on the audience long after they’ve put the book down. Knowing and understanding what they want from her books, she also understands exactly what it is that she wants to say with each of her novels. This has proven to be hugely successful, in that she’s been translated into eighteen languages, making her an international success as well as national. With a lot more to come yet she’s definitely not finishing any time soon either, as there’s a lot more planned upon the horizon.

Early and Personal Life
Born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, in Scotland 1964, Aminatta Forna was born to a Sierra Leonean father and a Scottish mother. As a child she would travel to with her physician father Mohamed Forna, and he would soon become involved local government and politics. Soon resigning citing a rise in political corruption and violence, he would become an Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience, before being hanged for treason in 1975.

It was these events that would inform much of Aminatta’s work in the years to follow, with her father’s activism and the events that preceded being a huge influence. Studying at University College London, before going on to become a Harkness Fellow based the University of California in Berkeley, she’d study law. Writing extensively during this time, she would also become the Professor for Creative Writing based in Bath Spa University, and currently lives in south-east London with Simon Westcott the furniture designer.

Writing Career
Between 1989 and 1999 Forna would go on to work extensively for the BBC, working on a number of documentaries as a reporter. In 2002 she would then go on to write her first book which was titled ‘The Devil That Danced on the Water,’ which would receive huge acclaim. It was a memoir of her own life, and would be featured on the radio for the BBC, broadcast there, as well as winning the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.

Her second book would come out in 2006 and it was titled Ancestor Stones, being her first fictional novel published. She’s also written for film as well, with ‘Girl Rising’ being one of them which came out in 2013, as she would write part of it. Writing extensive essays as well, with some of them being collected into compendiums, she’s well known for her in-depth analysis too, something she will continue for years to come.

The Memory of Love
Initially published through the Bloomsbury publishing label, this would first come out in 2010 on the 1st of May. With her writing career already well underway at this point for Aminatta Forna, it would be another successful development for her as a writer. Drawing in many more readers with her incisive style of storytelling, it would once again draw upon real historical events from Sierra Leone.

With many layers to the story, this really develops some interesting ideas, many of which have been central to Forna’s work. Building upon them, she also creates and crafts engaging characters who carry the story along, investing the reader fully in the world. Using real-world events as its backdrop, it’s a realistic and compelling story, and one that really grabs the reader from the outset and doesn’t let go.

Set in Sierra Leone, a civil war has left the country devastated and in disarray, everyone plagued by their own demons, and it is here in the central hospital a gifted young surgeon has his own ghosts. Then there’s a man elsewhere in the hospital who has stories of his own from the past, having witnessed the postcolonial era of the country. Brought together through a British psychologist, their histories are intertwined, as the past and present come together with one woman at the center of it all. How is it all connected? Where will their journeys take them both? What will come from the memory of love?

The Hired Man
Once again published through the Bloomsbury publishing imprint, this was first released in 2013 on the 28th of March. Working as a stand-alone fictional title, it operates as a mystery novel primarily, set in a Croatian village taking place just after the War of Independence. Capturing many interesting themes and ideas, it sets about delivering a strong message through its engaging and highly compelling story. There’s a lot here to invest in, with well drawn characters that definitely leave their imprint on the reader long after it’s over.

When off to a hunt one morning, Duro sees something that’s otherwise out of the ordinary, which is a strange car in the small-town of Gost. Meeting Laura and her two children then, Duro helps them move into their new house, dealing with their problems, all while shielding them from the hostility of the town. It’s also a secret from the past that he must hide them from, as a mosaic in the house threatens to uncover the truth as to why so many feel animosity towards them. Who lived there before them? Why is there so much hostility towards them? What will become of the hired man?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Aminatta Forna

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