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Ghana Must Go

Ghana Must Go [Kindle Edition]

Taiye Selasi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Description


This book is rich and deep, mesmerizing and spectacular. At times I felt it opened a portal onto something grand and profound about love and blood and the ties that bind. Read it and you will feel what great literature can do: you will feel you are more vividly alive (Anna Funder)

Ghana Must Go is both a fast moving story of one family's fortunes and an ecstatic exploration of the inner lives of its members. With her perfectly-pitched prose and flawless technique, Selasi does more than merely renew our sense of the African novel: she renews our sense of the novel, period. An astonishing debut (Teju Cole, author of Open City)

An eye for the perfect detail . . . an unforgettable voice on the page . . . miss out on Ghana Must Go and you will miss one of the best new novels of the season (The Economist)

Taiye Selasi is the woman the literary world is drooling over . . . [Ghana Must Go] is technically ambitious, poetically dense . . . an unpredictable family story of love, abandonment, aspiration and migration (Claire Allfree Metro)

Taiye Selasi writes with glittering poetic command, a sense of daring, and a deep emotional investment in the lives and transformations of her characters . . . a powerful portrait of a broken family (Diana Evans Guardian)

A most impressive first novel. . . She manages a generous coverage of time and space with adroit concision, along with a vibrant range of characters. The family is so convincing, with those telling problems of divided culture. Very much a novel of today (Penelope Lively)

Taiye Selasi is a young writer of staggering gifts and extraordinary sensitivity. Ghana Must Go seems to contain the entire world, and I shall never forget it (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)

With mesmerizing craftsmanship and massive imagination [Taiye Selasi] takes the reader on an unforgettable journey across continents and most importantly deeply into the lives of the people whom she writes about. She de-"exoticizes" whole populations and demographics and brings them firmly into the readers view as complicated and complex human beings. Ghana Must Go is a big novel, elemental, meditative, and mesmerizing (Sapphire, author of The Kid and Push)

In Ghana Must Go, Selasi drives the six characters skillfully through past and present, unearthing old betrayals and unexplained grievances at a delicious pace. By the time the surviving five convene at a funeral in Ghana, we are invested in their reconciliation--which is both realistically shaky and dramatically satisfying ... Narrative gold (Elle)

Selasi's ambition - to show her readers not "Africa" but one African family, authors of their own achievements and failures - is one that can be applauded no matter what accent you give the word (Nell Freudenberger The New York Times)

The first line of Taiye Selasi's buoyant first novel, Ghana Must Go, captures the book in miniature: "Kweku dies barefoot on a Sunday before sunrise, his slippers by the doorway to the bedroom like dogs." The springy dactylic meter of the prose (KWEku dies BAREfoot on a . . .), the sly internal rhymes (Sunday, sunrise, doorway), the surprising twist on a cliché (to die like a dog), the invigorating mixture of darkness and drollery are a big part of what makes this book such a joy... It's an auspicious how-do-you-do to the world, and nearly every page of the novel displays the same bounce and animation... rapturous. (Wall Street Journal)

Product Description

A stunning novel, spanning generations and continents, Ghana Must Go by rising star Taiye Selasi is a tale of family drama and forgiveness, for fans of Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

This is the story of a family -- of the simple, devastating ways in which families tear themselves apart, and of the incredible lengths to which a family will go to put itself back together.

It is the story of one family, the Sais, whose good life crumbles in an evening; a Ghanaian father, Kweku Sai, who becomes a highly respected surgeon in the US only to be disillusioned by a grotesque injustice; his Nigerian wife, Fola, the beautiful homemaker abandoned in his wake; their eldest son, Olu, determined to reconstruct the life his father should have had; their twins, seductive Taiwo and acclaimed artist Kehinde, both brilliant but scarred and flailing; their youngest, Sadie, jealously in love with her celebrity best friend. All of them sent reeling on their disparate paths into the world. Until, one day, tragedy spins the Sais in a new direction.

This is the story of a family: torn apart by lies, reunited by grief. A family absolved, ultimately, by that bitter but most tenuous bond: familial love.

Ghana Must Go interweaves the stories of the Sais in a rich and moving drama of separation and reunion, spanning generations and cultures from West Africa to New England, London, New York and back again. It is a debut novel of blazing originality and startling power by a writer of extraordinary gifts.

'Ghana Must Go is both a fast moving story of one family's fortunes and an ecstatic exploration of the inner lives of its members. With her perfectly-pitched prose and flawless technique, Selasi does more than merely renew our sense of the African novel: she renews our sense of the novel, period. An astonishing debut' Teju Cole, author of Open City

Taiye Selasi was born in London and raised in Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford. "The Sex Lives of African Girls" (Granta, 2011), Selasi's fiction debut, appears in Best American Short Stories 2012. She lives in Rome.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 832 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670919861
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670919888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670919888
  • ASIN: B00AM7E4JO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short sentences forming beautiful images 9 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Selasi has developed her own style of writing - short sentences, many of which are incomplete on their own, like brushstrokes. It means you have to read quite fast so that you can see the picture they are painting. In the beginning I found it quite patronising, and as I was reading slowly at the time I found it hard to feel engaged. After about a third the story picks up and I began to read faster and suddenly all of the staccato sentences began to form beautiful images and ideas. Which is fitting as Selasi appears to be very concerned about looks - she spends a lot of time talking about how beautiful the characters are - or how not beautiful other characters are/feel. There are lots of emotions, pretty descriptions and at the heart of it an intriguing and touching story. At times it felt a little staged at other times it was really astute. I loved the scene where Olu goes back to Ghana to meet his father who he has built up in his head so much, only to find an ordinary looking man in the throng of people at the arrival gates - no longer sticking out for his blue-black skin as he had done in America.

Overall I have just come out of a long phase of not reading and this book helped to bring me out. I think there is much to enjoy in this book and recommend it highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but quite hard going 10 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel was chosen by my book group, and I was quite intrigued to be introduced to a new writer. The start of the story is original, introducing us to the characters and situation through the internal dialogue of someone whose fate we already know from the first line. The rest of the book presents the disturbing story of this rootless exiled African family through the points of view of the mother and the four children. These multiple points of view were the source of my confusion as I worked my way through. Maybe it was me, but at times I lost track of where we were, when the narrative was happening (it moves forward and back in time as much is based on the memories of characters, how they experienced key events), and even who we were. The author writes in an original style. Lots of sentences without verbs. Quite a few cliches popping up in the story. But overall a worthwhile read about family, love, loss and coming to terms.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving and lyrical family drama 7 Jan 2014
By Amanda Jenkinson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This intense and powerful family drama tells of the Sai family, half Nigerian, half Ghanaian, whose lives fall apart when the father Kweku, a respected surgeon in the US, is accused of malpractice and abandons his family. The repercussions of this reverberate through the years and tear the family apart. When news of his death reaches his wife and four children, they come together to re-establish the links between them, to look back at and try to make sense of what has happened to them and to attempt, if possible, to piece the family back together.
Original and beautifully crafted, I found this a moving and haunting novel of family love, with acute psychological insight and observation. The writing is lyrical and poetic, and in fact often reads like poetry with its rhythms and language. I found myself reading some of the passages out loud as if it were indeed a work of poetry not prose. Perhaps sometime the writing does become a little over-blown, and some of the images and descriptions seem to strive too much for effect, with echoes of Toni Morrison's more purple passages, but overall this is a very minor quibble. I was completely caught up in the characters, all of whom I found credible and sympathetic, and the sense of place in both the US and especially in Africa was both atmospheric and vividly drawn. Immigration and what it means to be African both in Africa and in the diaspora is sensitively and compellingly portrayed. It's an absorbing and haunting novel and one which I very much enjoyed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written - but does the plot add up? 18 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed the opening section of the book describing simply, memorably, and indeed perhaps unforgettably, the death of Kweko, how it comes about, how it could have been avoided, what his reflections are on his life in the present, in Ghana, and the layout of his house and garden and the story of its construction, and so on.

Then the rest of the book goes in, much more, to his back story, the various traumatic episodes that have created a dysfunctional (but not terminally dysfunctional) family, and the aftermath of Kweko's death as his first wife and his four children come together in Ghana to mourn his death.

At that point I started to feel I did not really believe people mostly behave as they do in this plot; and that anyway what a family it is to have such extremely brilliant children one and all, to have such a brilliant father, to have dizygotic girl and boy twins who have the exceptional bonds that are sometimes thought to exist for monozygotic twins, and so on...At the end of the book Kweko's first wife ponders why she and Kweko have behaved as they did. It clearly has something to do, she thinks, with 'Ghana must go', a scheme that led to the expulsion of Ghanaians from Nigeria...not really an explanation I found very convincing.

So I had very mixed feelings about this, torn between its beauty and its observation on the one hand, and its rather unsatisfying underlying narrative plot, on the other....Others may - and many clearly do - feel very differently about this..
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Executed perfectly
Selasi's depiction of the family dynamics of 1st and 2nd generation migrants is elaborate and elegantly written. A great read from start to finish.
Published 1 month ago by L. Jesimighomi
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.
Lyrical, sad and disturbing - this is a beautifully written book. The kind of prose that occasionally stopped me in my tracks with its quiet, moonlit beauty.
Published 1 month ago by Ms. J. Pearson
3.0 out of 5 stars Did it curdle?
I come off with mixed feelings on this one. I wouldn't really say that I enjoy this staccato way of writing. At some points I was not sure who was in whose head. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Ghana must Go - difficult to read
Delivery was great my only issue was with the book. I'm told that it picks up half way through, sadly I couldn't cope with trying to get there - sorry
Published 2 months ago by Hazelnut
5.0 out of 5 stars Analysis of thought processes
A man dies and we learn about his life, his family members' lives and the setting which determines their stories. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rosalind Minett
2.0 out of 5 stars Ghana Must Go
I found the 'modernist' prose very difficult to follow, but when I am back in the mood I'll be glad to give it another go.
Published 3 months ago by Brian G
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting. ..
I have mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed the writing style but I always felt like there was a deliberate attempt to unfold the story very slowly. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ZoeB
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic debut novel
A beautifully written family saga. Ms Selasi's poetic prose structure shapes the characters and drama in this book, in a way I've not experienced for a very long time.
Published 3 months ago by Rosie P
1.0 out of 5 stars You might enjoy it
A long goose chase, ends abruptly. Explained the scenery far too much instead of telling the story! In my opinion
Published 4 months ago by Jessica Jetawo
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful...but meandering
The writing is really something, absolutely beautiful and full of unexpected imagery.
But the book just feels stuck in a moment, a very key moment - the death of a father and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lovebug
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