The Devil that Danced on the Water. Aminatta Forna.
Aminatta Forna, szkocka pisarka, wychowana w Sierra Leone opowiada historię swojego dzieciństwa spędzonego w tym małym kraju Afryki Zachodniej. Równolegle, obok afrykańskiej rzeczywistości lat 60-tych i 70-tych dowiadujemy się o losach jej ojca Mohameda Forna, który będąc lekarzem zaangażował się w lokalną, a potem krajową politykę. Porzucił zawód lekarza, porzucił także rodzinę, aby stać się jedną z ważniejszych postaci w polityce Sierra Leone. Niestety cała przygoda źle się skończyła. Mohamed Forna został oskarżony o zdradę stanu przez panującego prezydenta Siaka Stevensa, więziony i powieszony w 1975 roku. Aminatta Forna, która dzisiaj mieszka w Londynie ukazuje realia życia w Sierra Leone w trudnych czasach, kiedy kraj uzyskał niepodległość od Wielkiej Brytanii i próbuje sam zorganizować swoją przyszłość. Nie jest to jednak łatwe. Cytaty:
„In Sierra Leone the rains begin on 1 May every year. From then on it rains at eleven o`clock every night, gradually moving forward in the day until the rain falls almost continuously. As the season advances, so the rain recedes at exactly the same pace. Next the sun shines for seven months until the clouds come back again. On 2 May, if for some reason it did not rain the night before, people in the marketplace might remark, `The rains are late this year, not so?` This in Sierra Leone, is what passes for a conversation about the weather”.
„Much later I learned that the only two species who wage war against their own kind are ants and men”.
„Valentine Strasser, a handsome, a twenty-seven-year-old captain, took to the public airwaves and declared himself Sierra Leone`s new leader. None of the members of the new National Provisional Ruling Council was more than thirty years old, and none had any experience of government… Strasser was chosen as a leader for the sole reason that he alone spoke English sufficiently well to broadcast their communique to the world”.
„At the end of 1995 Strasser was overthrown by his own vice-chairman, left the country and enrolled as a law student at a university in England”.
„On 6 January 1999 the RUF invaded Freetown for the second time. They called their onslaught `Operation No Living Thing`: they sacked the city , killed and maimed hundreds, possibly thousands, of people, forced civilians to march ahead of the advancing troops as a human shield. Those who hesitated or refused were burned alive”.
„A diminutive figure led the parade, wearing a wooden mask that fitted entirely over the head, carved braids of hair around a finely featured face; cascades of black-dyed raffia fell around her shoulders. It was the Bundu Devil, mascot of the women`s secret society”.
„When the rebels invaded Makeni they had sliced off the ends of his feet. Salamatu, his young wife, to whom he had been married for only a few months, was seized and carried off. She did not return home for more than a year. When she did come back both her feet had been hacked off above the ankle as punishment for trying to escape”.