Aminatta Forna was born in Glasgow, raised in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom and now divides her time between London and Sierra Leone.
Her published works include The Devil that Danced on the Water, a memoir of her dissident father and her country, Ancestor Stones, a novel set in West Africa, The Memory of Love, The Hired Man and The Angel of Mexico City.
In 2003, The Devil that Danced on the Water was shortlisted for Britain’s most prestigious non-fiction award, the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. The book was serialized on BBC Radio, also in The Sunday Times newspaper, and selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers series.
Ancestor Stones was a New York Times Editor’s Choice book, selected by the Washington Post as one of the Best Novels of 2006 and one of The Listener Magazine’s Best 10 Books of 2006. In 2007 Aminatta was named by Vanity Fair as one of Africa’s most promising new writers. Ancestor Stones was the winner of the 2007 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award (Debut Fiction), was longlisted for the International Dublin IMPAC Award, and was the 2008 winner of the LiBeraturpreis in Germany.
Aminatta’s second novel, The Memory of Love, a story about friendship, war and obsessive love, was published in 2010 and won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book). In 2010, she was also shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.
The Hired Man tells the story of a Croatian village and the English family who buy a holiday home there, it is a tale of war, betrayal, and secrets that linger. The Hired Man was picked as one of the best books of 2013 by NPR, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Independent, The Evening Standard, The Australian and the NZ Listener. It was a Barnes & Nobles 2013 Critics Choice and nominated for the 2014 IMPAC Award.