Monday, May 10, 2010

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna--Review at the Guardian

I have been a little busy in recent times and my reading has largely been affected. I would pick up from where I stopped perhaps tomorrow and slowly chew my way through the novels. However, in remaining true to promoting African literature I hereby link you to a novel, The Memory of Love, written by Aminatta Forna and reviewed by Helon Habila.Though I have not read this novel, if the review is anything to go by it is likely to be a good read. 

Excerpts from the review:
Aminatta Forna's brilliant new novel takes an oblique look at the Sierra Leonean civil war of the 1990s. Instead of focusing on the gruesome details of killing and looting and the sectarian politics behind it all, the novel examines in clinical and psychological detail how people survive the memory of war. Despite its horrors, war at least provided some certainties; people survived from day to day. Now the future lies before them and they are uncertain, filled with memories of loss and shame, often pushed into a state of fugue. Forna describes this as a "dissociative condition in which the mind creates an alternative state. This state may be considered a place of safety, a refuge." It is a coping mechanism, often involuntary. Some characters, such as the retired university professor Elias Cole, try to review their history for posterity, hiding the dark moments, emphasising the good ones. Some, including the idealistic young doctor Kai Mansaray, would escape to America – if only he could drop the heavy baggage he is carrying.

Read the full review here...

3 comments:

  1. novels like this that track the psychological consequences of war are fascinating and provide a lot of opportunity for some rich character development. a recent favorite of mine along these lines is Sasa Stanisic's WHEN THE SOLDIER REPAIRED THE GRAMOPHONE, about the Bosnian war. i like the looks of this one too!

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  2. Hmm I haven't heard of this and there are more books I have never heard of but I would keep an eye for this. This book promises to be a good book and a good read. I would check it out and perhaps review it on this blog....not a promise though....

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  3. Hello Nana! I am probably buying this book while I am in London. I read a few pages and I was hooked. I need to combine it with other two paperbacks in order to profit from a 3x2 offer. Maybe Tea Obreht's book (she's coming to a festival in Italy in September and it would be nice to have read her book when I'll go to the reading).

    The few pages of "The Memory of Love" that I read reminded me of Adichie's "Half of a Yellow Sun", but maybe it was just suggestion because they are both about war.

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