Taiye Selasi's 'Driver' is a story about Webster, a young man with a new job and dreams of a better life in Ghana. With her distinctive voice, musical prose and rich characterisation, Selasi breathes life into Webster's longing for a life he does not - and a woman he should not - have.
About the AuthorI had the pleasure of interviewing Taiye Selasi last month, as she recorded the audio edition of Driver for Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelist 4. She was in New York, and we were in London, but the force of her personality came through, even over on a 15-inch screen. She met Toni Morrison at a dinner party, where Morrison agreed to read Selasi's short story, The Sex Lives of African Girls. That story was later published in Granta. Selasi is an accomplished photographer and essayist, and her debut novel, Ghana Must Go, was released April 4th, to critical acclaim.
©2013 Granta (P)2013 Audible Ltd
Reviews for Ghana Must Go: "Selasi lingers with such acute emotional observation in each moment that it is hard not to be drawn in." (The Observer)
"Selasi lingers with such acute emotional observation in each moment that it is hard not to be drawn in." (The Observer)
"Ghana Must Go comes with a bagload of prepublication praise. For once, the brouhaha is well deserved. Ms. Selasi has an eye for the perfect detail: a baby's toenails 'like dewdrops', a woman sleeps 'like a cocoyam. A thing without senses... unplugged from the world.' As a writer she has a keen sense of the baggage of childhood pain and an unforgettable voice on the page. Miss out on Ghana Must Go and you will miss one of the best new novels of the season." (The Economist)
"Buoyant... a joy... Rapturous." (The Wall Street Journal)
"[Selasi] writes elegantly about the ways people grow apart - husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents and kids." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Powerful... A finely crafted yarn that seamlessly weaves the past and present, Selasi's moving debut expertly limns the way the bonds of family endure even when they are tested and strained." (Booklist)
"Gorgeous. Reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri but with even greater warmth and vibrancy, Selasi's novel, driven by her eloquent prose, tells the powerful story of a family discovering that what once held them together could make them whole again." (Publishers Weekly)
"Taiye Selasi is a young writer of staggering gifts and extraordinary sensitivity. Ghana Must Go seems to contain the entire world, and I shall never forget it." (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)
"Taiye Selasi is a totally new and near perfect voice that spans continents and social strata as effortlessly as the insertion of an ellipsis or a dash. With mesmerizing craftsmanship and massive imagination she takes the reader on an unforgettable journey across continents and most importantly deeply into the lives of the people whom she writes about. She de-'exoticizes' whole populations and demographics and brings them firmly into the readers view as complicated and complex human beings. Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go is a big novel, elemental, meditative, and mesmerizing; and when one adds the words 'first novel,' we speak about the beginning of an amazing career and a very promising life in letters." (Sapphire, author of The Kid and Push)
"Ghana Must Go is both a fast moving story of one family's fortunes and an ecstatic exploration of the inner lives of its members. With her perfectly-pitched prose and flawless technique, Selasi does more than merely renew our sense of the African novel: she renews our sense of the novel, period. An astonishing debut." (Teju Cole, author of Open City)
I loved this and I'm going to seek out more of Selasi's work. this small 30min story about a young man in Ghana who becomes a 'Driver' for a wealthy family is really beautifully crafted and read by the author so she knows every nuance, quiet or uncomfortable moment and every accent , and so reads it the way it should be. yet as well as being so beautifully crafted, it shows us another side to an African country (Ghana) that we dont hear about. about the thoughts and despair of the privileged and the uncomfortable dedication of those desperate to keep their jobs serving them. how the 2 groups can't help but to cross over into each others lives , always creating this incredible tension.....what a marvelous new writer!! find out more about moments in Africa, caught by the pen. highly recommended, I'm going to look for her novels now, I think there are 1 or 2?
The story seemed like an interesting idea but it failed to hold my attention.
After this I will probably stick to stories that are from genres that I really like as I feel they hold my interest more.
I felt the narration, was one of the reasons that I struggled with this story. It was hard to imagine what was happening in it.
The main character seemed not bad but I just felt he didn't stand out enough for me to like.
This story wasn't for me but I can see it appealing to others.
Not really my thing - i can't fault the story or the reading, but at the same time it didn't inspire me or get my imagination running.
Not to be confused with Australians, WWE wrestlers, native American wigwams, science fiction writers or prison camp guards....
Nothing....it's dead in the water.
Why has this woman from London got such an American accent? It is not just an American accent but one that really jars in my head.....
If she had an accent that someone from London REALLY has.....
Oh, wait...it was free....
Don't waste your time....
The style of writing created the scenes in colour !
The main character and the way he dealt with events happening around him, to which he was both an actor and a spectator.
The reality conveyed in the voice.
We need more literary work like this - to give us, the readers in the western world, an insight into other parts of the world where the class system make very interesting reading. A good read for all armchair social anthropologists !
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