The Devil That Danced On The Water: A Daughter'S Quest
Publish Date: 2003-12-18
Author: Aminatta Forna
Praised as a shining example of what autobiography can be: harrowing, illuminating and thoughtful (USA Today), Aminatta Fornas 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 or exile in Britain and the terrible consequences of her dissident fathers 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 Aminattas 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.
Aminattas search for the truth that shaped both her childhood and the nations destiny began among the countrys elite and took her into the heart of rebel territory. Determined to break the silence surrounding her fathers fate, she ultimately uncovered a conspiracy that penetrated the highest reaches of government and forced the nations 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.