The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion by Aminatta Forna
From Grove Atlantic:
“These essays, ranging across continents and time, so broad in their themes and so deep in their perceptions, are essential reading, combining Aminatta Forna’s great gifts as a storyteller and her razor-sharp analytical skills.”—Salman Rushdie
Aminatta Forna is one of our most important literary voices, and her novels have won the Windham Campbell Prize Literature Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Now, she returns with The Window Seat, an elegantly rendered, thought-provoking collection of new and previously published essays. In this wide-ranging collection, Forna writes intimately about displacement, trauma and memory, love, and how we coexist and encroach on the non-human world.
In “Obama and the Renaissance Generation,” she documents how, despite the narrative of Obama’s exceptionalism, his father, like her own, was one of a generation of gifted young Africans who came to the United Kingdom and the United States for education and were expected to build their home countries anew after colonialism. In “The Last Vet,” time spent shadowing Dr. Jalloh, the only veterinarian in Sierra Leone, as he works with the street dogs of Freetown, becomes a meditation on what a society’s treatment of animals tells us about its principles. In “Crossroads,” she examines race in America from an African perspective, and in “Power Walking” she describes what it means to walk in the world in a Black woman’s body.
The Window Seat is, in the words of acclaimed author Chinelo Okparanta, “a journey . . . These essay are altogether a sharp, elegant meditation . . . on everything from politics and insomnia to food insecurity and biodiversity.”