The Devil That Danced on the Water Reviews
"Reminiscent of Isabelle Allende's House of the Spirits, Forna's work is a powerfully and elegantly written mix of complex history, riveting memoir and damning expos." - PW.
"Forna's stunning memoir is both a tribute to her brave father and an important look at the sad state of politics in Sierra Leone." - Booklist.
"In 1975, Mohamed Forna, a doctor and leading Sierra Leonean dissident, was executed for treason. A quarter century later, his daughter, who was ten when he was arrested, began to investigate his death. Her lucid, exacting memoir recounts indelible scenes: in bed with malaria, she watches a soldier ransack her room; when her stepmother goes to plead for her father's life, Aminatta asks her to get the President's autograph. She interviews the men who gave false testimony against her father, and discerns in their matter-of-fact responses a "lack of expectation" that defines life in Sierra Leone after decades of violence. In a telling episode, her stepmother takes pity on one of these witnesses, who is now destitute, and hires him as a cook. The author wonders if it is in this way, "together under the same roof," that she and her countrymen must learn to live with the past." - The New Yorker.
"Impassioned, lucid, and understandably enraged, The Devil That Danced on the Water illuminates the troubled, tragic history of a country." - Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine.
"A searing indictment of African tyranny mingled with bittersweet childhood memories." - Kirkus.
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