Tuesday, March 3, 2020 4:34 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Ama Ata Aidoo, multiple award-winning Ghanaian novelist, poet, playwright and author of the critically acclaimed play, Dilemma of a Ghost, will be 80 in March, this year. And as part of efforts to celebrate her – the first female African playwright – Vidya Bookstore is set to launch Between Generations: An anthology for Ama Ata Aidoo at 80 on19 March, 2020, at the British Council in Accra Ghana. Sponsored by Vidya Bookstore, the forthcoming book is a collection of short stories from eight African countries.
Described by Editor Ivor Agyeman-Duah, as ‘international affairs through fiction’, the 230-page collection tackles wealth and inequality, immigration, sisterhood, love lost and regained and other contemporary issues in Africa and the world.
The book opens with Aleppo, a story written by by Aidoo and includes stories by eleven other contemporary African writers: Nigerian novelists, Sefi Atta, Ogochukwu Promise; South African novelist, Njabulo S. Ndebele; Senegalese novelist Boubacar Boris Diop, Ghanaian novelists, Ayesha Haruna Attah, Bisi Adjapon, Martin Egblewogbe, and Gheysika Adombire Agambila; Rwandan writer, Louise Umutoni and Cameroonian writer Ray Ndebi.
This collection, preceded by two other internationally well-received anthologies- All the Good Things Around Us and The Gods Who Send Us Gifts has established, according to Vidya Bookstore, Agyeman-Duah’s firm grip on African literary affairs and anthology editing. Apart from co-editing with the University of Oxford’s Lucy Newlyn of, May Their Shadows Never Shrink– Wole Soyinka and the Oxford Professorship of Poetry, Agyeman-Duah’s, Shepherds of New Dawn- African Literature and Its Elders is published by Caroline Academic Press in North Carolina, USA, in 2020.
The special guest of honour for the event is Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, who will also present his 50th book: Beyond Aesthetics- Use, Abuse and Dissonance in African Art Traditions. Other featured guests include the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi and the Head of UNESCO-Ghana- Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo.
Aidoo, who has had a robust literary career spanning over 50 years has won numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Africa) for her novel, Changes. Aidoo’s works of fiction particularly deal with the tension between Western and African world views. Her first novel, Our Sister Killjoy, was published in 1977 and remains one of her most popular works. Many of Aidoo’s protagonists are women who defy the stereotypical women’s roles of their time, as in her play Anowa.