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Ghana Must Go

by Taiye Selasi

A scattered family faces reunion after a death. A common theme, but their immigrant secrets, the contrasts between their lives on two continents, and above all the beautiful writing lifts this book apart from others. Hard going at first with flashbacks artfully inserted into the prose, by the end I found it compelling and now I want to know what happens to all the characters and where they go after the funeral.

Extract

'There you are'
Here I am.
'Your wife's a bloody genius. Slippers.' Starts to laugh, picks them up from her lap.'I mean, really.'
Genius. He is laughing. She is laughing. Why did I ever leave you?
'I also left you.' She breathes in the smell of forgotten familiar. She presses the soles to her dampening cheeks. 'We did what we knew. It was what we knew. Leaving.'
Was it?
'We were immigrants. Immigrants leave.'
Not good enough
'Cowards.'
We were lovers, too.'
Couldn't we have learned? Not to leave?
'I don't know.' She is quiet for a moment. She knows that they're watching, the staff, from the gate, with confusion, alarm. But still can't be bothered. She thinks but doesn't say it: one can only learn so much in one life.

Parallels

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
 

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