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    Praised as "a shining example of what autobiography can be: harrowing, illuminating and thoughtful" (USA Today), Aminatta Forna's intensely personal history is a passionate and vivid account of an idyllic childhood which became the stuff of nightmare. As a child she witnessed the upheavals of post-colonial Africa, danger, flight, the bitterness of exile in Britain, and the terrible consequences of her dissident father's stand against tyranny.

    Mohamed Forna was a man of unimpeachable integrity and enchanting charisma. As Sierra Leone faced its future as a fledgling democracy, he was a new star in the political firmament, a man who had been one of the first black students to come to Britain after the war. He stole the heart of Aminatta's mother to the dismay of her Presbyterian parents and returned with her to Sierra Leone. But as Aminatta Forna shows with compelling clarity, the old Africa was torn apart by new ways of western parliamentary democracy, which gave birth only to dictatorships and corruption of hitherto undreamed-of magnitude. It was not long before Mohamed Forna languished in jail as a prisoner of conscience, and worse to follow.

    Aminatta's search for the truth that shaped both her childhood and the nation's destiny began among the country's elite and took her into the heart of rebel territory. Determined to break the silence surrounding her father's fate, she ultimately uncovered a conspiracy that penetrated the highest reaches of government and forced the nation's politicians and judiciary to confront their guilt. The Devil that Danced on the Water is a book of pain and anger and sorrow, written with tremendous dignity and beautiful precision: a remarkable, and important, story of Africa.

    ©2002 Aminatta Forna. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour J. Puttgen
    • J. Puttgen
    • 23/10/2018

    astonishingly good memoir

    I listen to A LOT of memoirs - especially those by people of color. It feels like a ritual practice: get in my car, open the narrative of a person of color, allow their experience and worldview to permeate my body, and be attentive. This one came to my attention because of Aminatta Forna's wonderful essay on Power Walking in different parts of the world and at different times in her life.
    There are many reasons to love this book: its evocation of Sierra Leone and the UK in the 1970's; its portrait of how democracy can be derailed by demagoguery and disregard for truth; the courage and integrity that Forna brings to her search for the truth about her beloved father's persecution. I loved the narrator's voice as well & her easy rendering of voices from all parts of the world.
    I'll go ahead and say that this feels like an important book, a wise book, a book to generate complex feelings of compassion and curiosity.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Bee
    • Bee
    • 08/05/2021

    A Must Read

    This author takes us on a journey through her life and family's Sierra Leone existence. An almost microscopic look into the joys of childhood stolen by despots as a country collapses. This is an important book that exposes the historical realities of war through her eyes and experiences.