Diasporan Africans, including Ghanaians, are certainly writing, and getting reviews. The frustration here in Ghana is actually getting copies of their books to either read or buy. I mention two specific examples: one I borrowed a copy from a fellow member of the Accra Book Club, while the other finally landed in EPP where the author said it was supposed to be. Only this happened about four months later than what the author had said was supposed to happen. Oh well, the expression “better late than never” definitely comes to mind.
So now I am about to start Kwei Quartey’s Wife of the gods simply because it does not belong to me, and I feel that I should not be “hogging” it, while others might be happy to read it. I am happy to say that this is another “mystery”, which pleases me, as this is one of my favourite genres. It will be interesting to see how the Ghanaian setting works. I won’t say that I would be more critical about this aspect than in other such books, but I would certainly note what seemed to work, and what didn’t. I also remember someone or some review making a mention of the popularity of the McCall Smith novels based in Botswana contributing in no small way to the popularity of novels with an African setting! I will report more when I finish the book; starting it will be take place shortly.
I have been going to the EPP bookshop just opposite the Ghana Trade Fair at La fairly regularly since I moved to Accra – for personal reasons for a lot of the time, and more recently I have actually been buying books from them for work. A colleague gave me the name of one of the staff, and I can only praise this young man for his customer service. On more than one occasion we’ve phoned him to ask if EPP has a particular title in stock, and he responds quickly. When I heard from Nii Ayikwei Parkes that his book, The tail of the blue bird, was supposed to be available through EPP I asked my contact, and after checking he told me it had not yet arrived. And so I put this away (this was in July 2009 – about four months ago) and was very surprised when we called our contact earlier this week, and he mentioned that the Parkes book had arrived last weekend! Now I am wishing that I had more time to read!