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Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna is an author of novels, short stories and a memoir. Born in Glasgow in 1964 to a Sierra Leonean father and a Scottish mother, Forna spent her childhood in Sierra Leona and Britain and lived for short periods of time in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. Her novels, Ancestor Stones (2006), ​The Memory of Love ​(2010) and The Hired Man ​(2013), have received many awards including the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for fiction, the IMPAC Award, the Warwick Prize and the LiBeraturpreis; ​The Memory of Love was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for fiction.

Forna is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, a Fellow and Council member of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Folio Academy. She has also written essays and articles that have been published in The Times, The Observer and The Guardian and has regularly participated as an arts commentator on British radio and TV programmes. In 2003 she established a charity, The Rogbonko Project, which financed the building of a school and continues to fund education and sanitation projects.


Adams, Tim. “The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna: A Painful Tale Set in Postwar Sierra Leone.” The Guardian, 2010.

Bastida-Rodriguez, Patricia.Afropolitan in the Their Own Way: Writing and Self-Identification in Aminatta Forna and Chika Unigwe. European Journal of English Studies, vol. 21, no. 2, 2017, pp. 203-214.

Chela, Efemia. “False Memories and True Love in Sierra Leone: Efemia Chela Reads Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love.” The Johannesburg Review of Books, 2017.

Cole, Ernest. “Interview with Aminatta Forna.” Journal of the African Literature Association, vol. 11, no. 2, 2017, pp. 238–245., doi:10.1080/21674736.2017.1375660.

—. Space and Trauma in the Writings of Aminatta Forna. Africa Wolf Press, 2017.

Cross, Stephanie. “The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna,” Daily Mail, 9 April 2010.

Farndale, Nigel. “Aminatta Forna Interview: Unsilent Witness.” The Telegraph, 24 March 2013. 

Forna, Aminatta, and Valeriu Nicolae, “Memory and Forgetting: Aminatta Forna & Valeriu Nicolae in Conversation.” Index on Censorship, vol. 35, no. 2, 2006, pp. 74-81, doi:10.1080/03064220600746474.

Forna, Aminatta. The Devil that Danced on the Water. HarperCollins, 2002.

—. Ancestor Stones. Bloomsbury, 2007.

—. “Don’t judge a book by its author.” The Guardian, 13 Feb. 2015.

—. The Hired Man. Bloomsbury, 2013.

—. The Memory of Love. Bloomsbury, 2011.

—.  “Where Are the West’s Political Novelists?” Literary Hub.2015. Accessed 26 May 2016.

Habila, Helon. “The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna: A Depiction of the Brutally Uncertain Aftermath of War Impresses Helon Habila.” The Guardian, 2010. 

Harrow, Kenneth M. Suturing Two Worlds. The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna". African Writing in the Twenty-First Century. Spec. issue of Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013, pp. 13-32.

Hickling, Alfred. “The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna. Review.” The Guardian, 27 March 2013.

Jaggi, Maya. “Aminatta Forna: A Life in Writing.” The Guardian, 3 May 2013.

Jones, Lewis. “The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna: Review. The Telegraph, 16 April 2013.

Larson, Charles. “Surviving War in Croatia.” Counter Punch, 8 Nov. 2013. Accessed 26 May 2016.

Lionnet, Françoise, and Jennifer Macgregor. “Aminatta Forna: Truth, Trauma, Memory.” The Contemporary British Novel Since 2000, edited by James Acheson, Edinburgh University Press, 2017, pp. 199-208.

Lo Dico, Joy. Review: The Hired Man, By Aminatta Forna. The Independent, 6 April 2013.

Loudis, Jessica. “The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna: Review.” SFGATE, 2011. 

Ng'Umbi, Yunusy Castory. Re-imagining Family and Gender Roles in Aminatta Forna’s Ancestor Stones. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 2017, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 86-99.

Norridge, Zoe. “Sex as Synecdoche: Intimate Languages of Violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love.” Research in African Literatures, vol. 43, no. 2, 2012, pp. 18-39.

—. “Ways of Knowing Civil War: Human Rights and the Traction of Complicity in Aminatta Fornas The Hired Man.” Critical Quarterly, vol. 56, no. 4, 2014, pp. 99-113., doi:10.1111/criq.12163

Pérez Fernández, Irene Emotional (Un)Belonging in Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love". Complutense Journal of English Studies, vol. 25, 2017, pp. 209-220.

Scafe, Suzanne. Black Women Subjects in Autobiographical Discourse. The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945-2010), edited by Deirdre Osborne, Cambridge UP, 2016, pp.144-158.

Shilling, Jane. “The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna: Review.” The Telegraph, 2010. 

Image source: Jonathan Ring