This month’s Scottish Book Trust Book Talk podcast is Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. As always, it’s a very insightful and thought-provoking discussion, and a very different perspective on the novel from my own.
It feels inherently wrong of me to want to compare Ghana Must Go with Americanah, for a whole variety of reasons. Partly because it feels as though I am making a rather politically incorrect generalisation, but also because it’s doing Taiye Selasi (who is by all accounts one of the most promising debut novelists of recent years) a major disservice. In spite of this, I couldn’t help but do both while reading and writing about it. For one thing, one of the main characters, having left Nigeria as a young adult for a new life in the USA has returned to Africa many years later; it deals with the problems of racism in America; and a lot of the story is told through a non linear narrative (All of this meaning that my single story of West African fiction has yet to be challenged). That’s pretty much all that the two books share though, and Ghana Must Go is very much its own story.
‘Just do it’
‘But it says…’
‘What’s gonna happen?’
Someone knocked back, and they all fled.
Unable to sleep, she went back to knock again.
Someone knocked back.
She pulled the door open
‘Hello?’ she said, squinting into the light.
‘Hello,’ she said, stepping out of the light.
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that one of my tweet-reviews was used in this month’s Scottish Book Trust podcast. The podcast in question is an interesting discussion on The Hundred-Year-Old-Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, featuring a number of debates (Is it okay to laugh about some of the horrific events of the last century? Is the book satire? Is it any good?) presented much more cogently than I did. It’s It’s only 20 minutes long, and definitely worth listening to (and not just because I got a shout out)!