Ordained by the oracle by Asare Konadu

Ordained by the oracle by Asare Konadu

Ghanaian Fiction

When Kinna announced Ghanaian lit week I had just read this novel so I put it to one side and decided to review it for Ghanaian lit week .Samuel Asare Konadu was born in 1932 ,he worked as a reporter and for the Ghana information services ,in the mid sixties he studied traditional customs ,he also started a publishing venture Anowuo book ,how publish some books in the sixties to success .

SO what is Ordained by the oracle about well we follow Boateng ,he is a successful trader in a the Elmina (a coastal town in the south of Ghana ) ,he is a modern man dealing in the modern world in his day-to-day life ,his wife is in hospital dying it turns out ,now she grew up in a small village and via her grandmother ,has mor belief in the old tribal ways of life .So when Dora the wife dies ,Boateng decides to follow his wifes wishes and to sp[end forty days and nights wife his wife’s body .So with his wife he returns to the village his wife is from and then  spends the forty days and nights with the body.As he does this he reflects on his life and his wife’s life also the people they know .he is helped by people in the village as he spend the forty days and nights .AS he starts to putting things in order in his mind having the time to just think and dwell

Boateng found his sleep after two nights of keeping awake .He thought in the first few hours of the life that faced him without his wife ,but the company he had in the presence of the guide took away the fear that gripped him .When he was locked up with his dead wife .The room they now occupied was a few yards from where Dora  lay in state .

Just after the forty days .

Rather like tail of the blue bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes ,this book deals with the clashing of to worlds the old village tribal world of Dora and her grandparents that she spent time with when she was younger ,and that of Boateng his modern world and him wanting to turn his back  on traditional ways .These meet when the modern world in the form of the modern Hospital his dying wife is in can’t keep her alive ,so this sends Boateng down a path of rediscovering the past and the values he was in trouble of losing .Konadu writing is poetic and he keep the pages turning with shortish economical written  chapters ,your never left with endless pages of unnecessary writing .The feeling is this is Konadu own world he is describing ,he himself was born in southern Ghana .I think this is a real lost gem of african writing it was part of the early African writer series no 55 an earlier work by him is no40 also in the first series of the African writer series  .It was first published in 1969 .

Have you read this book ?

What is your favourite Ghana book ?

Tail of the blue bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes


Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a Ghanaian writer ,social commentator ,he was BBC radio threes writer in residence in 2005 ,he has his own web page which is full of piece of his work and spoken word performances .

Tail of the blue bird is part crime ,part social commentary ,this is a true one-off mixing the best of African fiction with crime fiction for a heady mix .the Novel centres on a rural village Sonokrom in the middle of nowhere in Ghana ,this is a place were the traditional values and customs still rule over the people of the villages .But a discovery leads to an  investigation by two outsiders from the more modern world of Accra the capital ,Kayo one of these outsiders has just returned from the UK and is a crime scene investigations ,with a scientific mind that is the complete opposite to the villagers ,the pair struggle with the case .

So we have a case in a village near Tafo that we need your help with .It is not even a case we would have bothered with, but the minister for roads and highways is sleeping with a girl from Tafo .She discovered some human matter and the minister himself called me that day to deploy some men .

As we find out the case was a favour to a minister .The man’s struggle with events that at times see unnatural almost supernatural ,flocks of birds, ghost boys ,Also the reluctant villagers add to the struggle .

The writing is wonderful Parkes manages to pull you into the men as they head to this village ,he evokes the spirit of African villages as they struggle with the old way of life and the ever-increasing modern world as mobile phones computers , western ways  creep in from the capital Accra ,but even earlier in the book we discover that Kayo struggles on his return to the capital from the UK ,as the local police don’t initially seem to keen on his CSI skills ,but later accept him and his ultra modern ideas ,even thou Kayo at times struggles with the mystery’s of Ghana’s hinterlands .

I read this for KINNA READS  GHANA WEEK ,ps sorry its late and single vol Kinna ,I would go and check her blog as she has reviewed some great African fiction in the last year .

March 2023


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