Ayesha Harruna Attah - Harmattan Rain

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Saturday's Shadows
a novel by


Saturday's Shadows about:

A thin film exists between sanity and madness, learn the protagonists of Saturday’s Shadows, as they try to find and hold on to love in the volatile world of 1990s West Africa. After a 17-year military dictatorship, the members of the middle class Avoka family lurch towards destruction as their country is trying to find its footing. The father, Theo, is recruited to write the memoirs of the dictator-turned-president whom he both loathes and reveres. Zahra, matriarch of the Avoka household, rekindles an affair with an old lover and barely keeps her family and sanity together. Theo and Zahra’s son Kojo has just started the boarding school of his dreams but finds out sometimes dreams should remain dreams. Their help, Atsu, a recent transplant from the village, struggles to understand big city living with all its temptations—money, men, and lust—and a family in which the mother doesn’t possess a single domestic bone. The climate they live in is politically complex, a time so tenuous the country could easily dip back into its military past.

This multi-voiced novel not only paints a picture of these tumultuous changes, but also shows that tenderness can persist even when everything else is being rent apart. Influenced by Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Saturday’s Shadows allows its four characters to narrate how they will do almost anything to find themselves.

>> Order a copy of Saturday's Shadows | Read an excerpt


"An evocative and bright novel where stories of family and country intersect in textured landscapes of upheaval, hope, and desire. Saturday’s Shadows is at once familiar and fresh -- a compelling offering from a sensitive writer." -- NoViolet Bulawayo, Author of "We Need New Names" 

"At its core Saturday's Shadows is a story about the slow, yet unpredictable implosion of a marriage. The novel, Ayesha Harruna Attah’s second, is also a tale of love and devotion, as well as a study in the psychology of tyrants and how their rule destroys not only their subjects but themselves. Such is the dexterity of Ayesha Harruna Attah--she melds and merges disparate topics and issues into a coherent and palatable narrative whole." -- Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Author of "The Prophet of Zongo Street"

"Saturday’s Shadows is an affecting book--a valiant attempt at chronicling an important period of transition in one West African nation’s history. Told in spare and honest prose, and with tenderness and grace, it is a clear-eyed exploration of the intersections of domestic and national turmoil, and of the psychically crippling behaviors that we sometimes engage in in our struggle to empower ourselves. Ultimately, it is a story of hope." -- Chinelo Okparanta, Author of "Happiness, Like Water


Here's a video of me reading an excerpt from Saturday's Shadows at the 2013 Afrilit Conference:

For inquiries on Saturday's Shadows, please contact the Pontas Agency.

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