I bought the book and put it on a shelf.
I looked at it.
I took it from my shelf and put it back.
Was it expectation that kept me back? Was it the fear of being disappointed? I do not know. I gave the book a transfer to the pile of books next to my easy chair. And slowly but surely the day was coming near. The day to hold the book and to read it.
Reader must start.
And the reader did start and kept on going, at times forward, at times backwards to glance over a passage and to try to discover the place in the cosmos of the book.
I tried to find the right position of my cheeks and jaws and my tongue in order to pronounce the names. I added in pencil more information to the supplied family tree but I had to retrace even more often to be sure I had added the proper information and I noticed I had mixed up people, who were already mixed up. I made a partial mess of it.
At times I felt lost in the book, in the travels, in the relations, in the broken dreams, in the shattered lives, in the disappointments, in the longing for roots, in the search for togetherness. At times I was looking into an endless pit on a dark day. I travelled from east coast is east coast to west coast is west coast and never the twain shall meet in my mind and body.
Taiye Selasi paints a picture and creates a new world that is shattered before creation. She is a timetraveller in her sentences and thoughts and her main characters take her on flight after flight.
A tale of family, scattered, talented, home and abroad, in search of meaningfull relations, in search of a profession with meaning. A talent that is no longer hidden.
“Ghana must go”, this slogan brings us back to the early nineteeneighties of the past century. Ghanaians were compelled to leave Nigeria and to go back to Ghana. The main characters of this book are drawn from Nigeria and Ghana, people who have intermarried and drifted apart, who travel the continents in search of further studies (past the been-to’s) and abodes.
Father and husband and son Kweku Sai left his flipflops on the day he died. His divorced wife is left with his cremated remains and his flipflops in a plastic bag. In between these events we meet their families, far and wide, talented and croocked. Citizens of the world, but lost at home.
Thanks Taiye, for your aiki.
Taiye Selasi – Ghana must go – 2013