Book Review: ‘Ghana Must Go’ By Taiye Selasi


Taiye Selasi’s debut novel about a migrant Ghanaian and Nigerian family has received a great deal of publicity, so wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The book covers a lot riveting subject matters including; cultural displacement, love, death, racism, sibling rivalry, bulimia, and paedophilia. ‘Ghana Must Go’ is the story of a broken family in the midst of piecing itself back together.

The subject matter paired with Selasi’s unquestionable talent with words should have made this an instant hit, but I felt that the author’s tendency to overwrite got in the way of telling the actual story. Throughout the book she jumps between the past and present, this inability to stay on one idea sometimes made the story hard to follow. I also felt everything was described with painstaking detail, for example the main character’s death is described at least 4 times from different viewpoints, which adds nothing to the overall story and just left me feeling frustrated and bored.  However, after the slow start, Selasi’s book gets back on track for a moving ending.

Selasi shows glimpses of what a talented writer she is, describing the Afro-American experience with authority and vision. The author’s take on what she calls ‘Black, white girl hair’ provides an  insightful description of a familiar issue for many black women- a debate we will discuss in much more detail in another post.

This leads me to conclude that this story could have been much more effective with just a touch more editing. I hope she continues to write more on this subject matter as I believe there is an audience eager to hear stories from an afrocentric view point and there is definitely and gap in the market for it.

We give this a star rating of 3 out of 5.

star rating

Judge for yourself, read the book and let us know what you think:

Buy the book here on Amazon

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