Abie follows the arc of a letter from London back to Africa to a coffee plantation that now could be hers if she wants it. Standing among the ruined groves she strains to hear the sound of the past, but the layers of years are too many. Thus begins the gathering of her family's history through the tales of her aunts - four women born to four different wives of a wealthy plantation owner, her grandfather. Asana, Mariama, Hawa and Serah: theirs is the story of a nation, a family and four women's attempts to alter the course of her own destiny.
Aminatta Forna is an author, broadcaster and journalist. Her last book, The Devil that Danced on the Water, was runner-up for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. Formerly a television reporter, Aminatta has presented and produced numerous television programmes for the BBC including the arts and culture magazine programme The Late Show and the BBC political flagship On the Record. She has won several awards for her television work, and in 1996 directed and presented a documentary on Africa's art, 'Through African Eyes', a PBS/BBC co-production, which today is shown to students of African art and culture in universities across the USA. Aminatta has hosted radio series including An Essential Guide to the 21st Century (World Service), The Travellers Souk and In Living Colour (BBC Radio 4). She is a contributor to several newspapers including the Independent, the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Evening Standard. She has acted as a judge for the Macmillan African Writer's Prize in 2003, the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2004 and the Caine Prize for Africa 2005.
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