Ayesha Harruna Attah - Praise for THWS


Ayesha H. Attah

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The Hundred Wells of SalagaThe Hundred Wells of SalagaThe Hundred Wells of Salaga DutchGerman EditionHundred Wells in ItalianTHWS French Cover

"One of the strengths of the novel is that it complicates the idea of what “African history” is ... Attah emphasises often overlooked distinctions of religion, language and status. ... Attah skilfully portrays this volatile, doomed civilisation and has a careful eye for domestic and historical detail."
- Nadifa Mohamed in The Guardian


"... this dazzling historical drama traces the intertwining lives of Wurche, a princess, and Aminah, her slave. ... Details—calabashes of millet beer; medicines of ebony roots, baobab leaves, and dawadawa bark; the “square, brown leather talismans” on soldiers’ smocks—immerse us in the era, and the destinies of Attah’s characters express wider disruptions."
- The New Yorker


"The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a fascinating read for anyone interested in understanding the fine specificities of systemic oppression. 5/5"
- Bust Magazine


"The strength of Attah's novel is in these two fully realized women, who must navigate their own ever changing circumstances against the backdrop of an increasingly volatile political landscape, in which feuding royals are competing for power among themselves but also with the Germans and the British... On the whole it is a rich and nuanced portrayal… Attah is adept at leading readers across the varied terrain of 19th-century Ghana and handles heavy subjects with aplomb. Two memorable women anchor this pleasingly complicated take on slavery, power, and freedom"
- Kirkus Reviews


"Ayesha Harruna Attah performs this task of historical speculation expertly through The Hundred Wells of Salaga, her captivating and richly rendered third novel."
- Benjamin Talton in Africa is a Country


"With a style that’s neither pretentious nor preachy, the author is a fabulous storyteller who provides unique insight into fascinating history. Strongly recommended."
- Thomas J. Howley in Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice)


"Attah gives both shape and immediacy to an insoluble riddle of the human condition."
- Rayyan Al-Shawaf in Los Angeles Review of Books


"Attah uses these protagonists to challenge prevailing ideas of religion, slavery, and gender roles in Africa at the time. Her view of domestic slavery and especially its consequences for women is one that has rarely been told. But Attah uses the essence of Ghana—its distinctive landscape and the particularities of its people—to demonstrate what this changing time must have felt like. It was, indeed, the end of a civilization."
- Ashanti White in Library Journal


"Attah’s exceptional research of the era shines through, making for a convincing historical novel."
- Publisher's Weekly


"Attah’s novel gives a texture and specificity to the anonymous tales of the Middle Passage..."
- The Millions


"The dichotomy of The Hundred Wells of Salaga makes for an alluring story. It is at once horrific and resplendent. Attah honestly relates an appalling part of Ghana's history while weaving in hope and light, with commanding characters capable of initiating change."
- Jen Forbus on Shelf Awareness


"The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a dazzling tale woven around two equally dazzling and spunky young women. Aminah and Wurche’s spirits triumph over even “domestic slavery”.  ... interesting youthful female characters do not fall from just anywhere, they are the embodiment of the essence of womanhood ... this beautiful novel affirms the wholesomeness, however compromised, of the girls’ environment in their formative years. We welcome Ayesha's The Hundred Wells of Salaga with ululation."
- Ama Ata Aidoo, author of Our Sister Killjoy


"With this necessary examination of West African slavery as it was experienced in West Africa, Ayesha Harruna Attah presents not only a fresh perspective on the transatlantic human trade, but a nuanced exploration of the human heart. ... There are no easy resolutions or neatly tied bows--only arrows amidst an arsenal of guns and ambitions urgently seeking their targets."
- Nana Brew-Hammond, author of Powder Necklace


"Ayesha’s prose is festive, reminiscent of the drumbeats of old, yet with a modern rhythm and pace at its core. ... The novel is a rich tapestry of humanity in all its ugliest and glorious forms. This is feminist writing at its best..."
- Mohammed Naseehu Ali, author of The Prophet of Zongo Street


"An instant modern classic. Gave me the same feeling as when I finished reading Things Fall Apart; like something deep within me had shifted, and would never be the same again."
- JJ Bola, author of No Place To Call Home


"From the queasy dread at the prospect of advancing horsemen in that enticing opening chapter to the riotous passions, jealousies and ultimate cathartic release from the closing pages, this is fiction fuelled by chaos, in thrall to mayhem, and packed with messy, dirty, gritty acts and consequences."
- Malcolm Forbes, in The National UAE


"Attah’s words are cowrie shells, each one in place in soulful sentences bursting with profound meaning. The characters are exquisite and infused with uncommon dignity; these are not just unthinking stick figures, but real, breathing, thinking people drawn from the tapestry of Africa’s rich history. Love oozes out of the pores of this gorgeous book. ... This is a really good book."
- Ikhide R. Ikheloa, cultural critic


"In The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Attah expertly juggles the grand, brutal scope of Ghana's history with the mysteries of her family's past. The result is a novel that's as sweeping as it is intimate--a wholly immersive story that explores loss and dignity with wit, wisdom, and astounding compassion."
- Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding


"A powerful and moving novel that intricately explores the Salaga slave market as it hurtles toward its final days, seen through the eyes of two women whose opposite circumstances converge. Attah's gift is her staggering ability to depict the personal within the past, to show us a moment in Ghana's history from those who lived it, making for an urgent, poignant experience."
- Gabe Habash, author of Stephen Florida


"This novel opens up the wounds of our past and shows how complicit we were the in our greed for power through the fragmenting of families. "
- The African Book Addict, read more here


"An evocative novel that centers on two very different young women brought together at the end of the 19th century in precolonial Ghana. Ayesha Harruna Attah deftly narrates their story while insisting on examining the complicity in slavery at that time…Read this!"
- Mona Eltahawy, author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution


"Ayesha Harruna Attah’s skill as a writer is undeniable. She masterfully weaves universal stories about gender, love, forgiveness, understanding, freedom, and justice into the thick but delicate fabric of African history."
- Literandra, read more here


"Ayesha’s writing style is engaging and indeed captivating. She is an audacious writer who is not afraid to yank the cover off the well-hidden (and unspoken) secrets of our society"
- Amma A. Agyeman-Prempeh, Bookworm Ghana, read more here


"Attah mix the words wey take form the book well. As I dey read the book e be like say person dey feed me fried meat and cold malt. E just dey digest well for my head. The book sweet die and I cry for some parts sha, I no fit lie."
- Erhu Kome, read more here

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