I feel proud to say that I have read both of the works written by Ghanaians which have been included in the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize regional shortlists.
Ayesha Harruna Attah’s Harmattan rain, which is shortlisted for the Africa regional first book, which I mentioned earlier.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes’ Tail of the blue bird, which is shortlisted under the South Asia and Europe category for a first book. I did mention in an earlier post having considerable palaver in actually getting a hold of this book, but once I did I actually enjoyed it.
Not surprisingly the rest of the African nominees were either from South Africa or Nigeria. But still I do feel pretty proud. Yeah Ghana!
Unfortunately there hasn’t been much coverage of this news in the Ghanaian press, apart from an article in The Daily Dispatch of 23 February 2010 – not online though, so I can’t include a link. Maybe there will be more in the next few days?
Congratulations to these Ghanaian writers!
I have not read Ayesha Attah’s book yet, difficult to purchase from the Netherlands (also)unfortunately. It seems to me that Ghanaian writers have great difficulty to get any attention from critics or journalists for their works. Considering the women writers, there seems to be a great void since Ama Ata Aidoo’s fantastic works. Amma Darko gets some reviews, and recently someone here told me about Evelyn Owusu’s Against the tide. Or am I forgetting someone, any readingtips?
I like to read the blog and good luck with the readingchallenge!
If you think it is difficult to get a hold of books by Ghanaians in the Netherlands, I don’t know what to say about our situation here in Ghana. Ayesha Attah’s book was published by Per Ankh, in Senegal, and as far as I know it doesn’t seem to have yet appeared on sites such as Amazon. Re women writers: the ones I know of tend to write short stories – Mamle Kabu, Franka Andoh, Alba Sumprim – some of which were published in the Caine Prize 2009 collection. I haven’t read anything by Evelyn Owusu – again availability here is an issue
One more new novel: Circles by Boakyewaa Glover. You’re right about the dearth of novelists. I’m in two minds about the whole thing. At one point, i wanted to write novels. High literature and all that good stuff, but now i’m questioning it. I don’t want my book(s) to end up sitting on shelves gathering dust. I want to be a read writer. But novels/literature does not always sell. I’m leaning towards telling my stories in a more fun, friendly tone. It’s a choice i’ll have to make. Do I want to be a best-selling author or do i want to write high literature which no one reads? It may be possible to do both. Maybe you do the popular stuff first, and then once you’re well loved, you write a literature book, people who claim they don’t read will read it. Of course there’s the risk of getting so sucked into the popular stuff you never write any “real literature”:)
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