The Memory of Love is the latest novel of Sierra Leonean and Scottish writer Aminatta Forna, she visited Bush House studios for a chat with the BBC’s Bola Mosuro.
About Aminatta Forna
Aminatta Forna was born in Glasgow, raised in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom and now divides her time between London and Sierra Leone. Formerly an award winning journalist for BBC Television (1989-99), she is now a full-time writer. Her most recent published works are Ancestor Stones, a novel set in West Africa, and The Devil that Danced on the Water, a memoir of her dissident father and her country. In addition she has also published essays and articles, and written for television and radio. In 2003 The Devil that Danced on the Water was runner up for Britain’s most prestigious non-fiction award, the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. The book was serialised on BBC Radio, also in The Sunday Times newspaper, and selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers series. Most recently The Devil that Danced on the Water became a Times newspaper Book Club book. Ancestor Stones was a New York Times Editor’s Choice book, selected by the Washington Post as one of the Best Novels of 2006 and one of The Listener Magazine’s Best 10 Books of 2006. In 2007 Aminatta was named by Vanity Fair as one of Africa’s most promising new writers and her work has been translated into nine languages. Her new novel The Memory of Love (Bloomsbury), a story about friendship, war and obsessive love, will be published in April 2010.
In 2003 Aminatta helped to build a primary school in her family’s village of Rogbonko, where she is also working to establish a cashew plantation named Kholifa Estates after the fictional plantation in Ancestor Stones.
Aminatta is a trustee of the Royal Literary Fund and sits on the advisory committee of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Her television credits include the arts documentary Through African Eyes (BBC), the documentary series Africa Unmasked (Channel 4) and in 2009, The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (BBC). Her journalism has appeared in The Economist, The Sunday Times, The Observer, Vanity Fair and Vogue Magazine among others.
Ancestor Stones is winner of the Hurston Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. (Read more about the award in the Washington Post) was nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Award and is the 2008 winner of the Liberaturpreis in Germany.