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The Boston Globe


Book REview

‘Ghana Must Go’ by Taiye Selasi

Taiye Selasi’s debut novel, “Ghana Must Go,” centers on the Sai family, a fractured clan of overachieving jet-setters who, like Selasi, are immigrants of Ghanaian and Nigerian descent. Like Selasi, the Sais lived in Brookline, where a small part of the novel is set. The family is decidedly Afropolitan, a term Selasi coined to describe herself and other urbane polyglots whose professional parents left Africa during the diaspora of the 1960s and ’70s.

Last year, Selasi appeared at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India with Teju Cole, a Nigerian-American who won the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for “Open City,” a novel about a Nigerian graduate student in New York. Dinaw Mengestu — born in Ethiopia, raised in Chicago — recently won a MacArthur fellowship for his fiction (“The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” was his debut) about Kenyans in the United States. The Afropolitan novel has become a small trend, of which “Ghana Must Go,” the story of a group of world citizens drawn back to the country their family left behind, is the latest entry. Selasi tells the story of a family breaking apart and coming back together at different times and on different continents.

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