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Tail of the Blue Bird

by Nii Ayikwei Parkes

I found this African novel intoxicating. The Palm wine-drinking, storytelling sessions of mythology and folklore swept me along. And the boundaries of fact and fiction soon became a blur. This is an intriguing tale of an English educated Ghanian forensic pathologist trying to solve a mystery with scientific logic.

Extract

It is no mystery that when something leaves your hand, grief can take its place; it is the same way that rain takes the place of clouds. What we cannot understand is how heavy the rain can be. Hmm. After Kwaku Ananse's wife died he cried paa, hard paa. Indeed many say he never stopped crying. For many moons he slept and rose and never looked at the sky. He wandered to his farm like a creature stunned by gunfire and wandered back again, with his cutlass in his hand. And this cutlass, he didn't even use. His farm grew wild, with sapow, elephant grass, mmofra forowa and nettles growing beneath the cocoa trees, covering the earth in the same way his beard covered his face.

Parallels

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith
 

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