About Aminatta Forna
Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Britain and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the award-winning author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water.
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.
The Memory of Love (Bloomsbury, April 2010) is a story about friendship, war and obsessive love. The novel was winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Book Award 2011, a finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011, the IMPAC Award 2012, the Warwick Prize 2011 and nominated for the European Prize for Fiction 2013. It was selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times and Times newspapers and was a New York Times Editor's Choice book.
Ancestor Stones (Bloomsbury 2006) was winner of the Hurston Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction, the Liberaturpreis in Germany and the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, and was nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. It was also a New York Times Editor's Choice book, selected by the Washington Post as one of the Best Novels of 2006 and The Listener Magazine's Best 10 Books of 2006.
The Devil that Danced on the Water (HarperCollins 2002), a memoir of her dissident father and of Sierra Leone, was runner up for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003, chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers series and serialised on BBC Radio and in The Sunday Times newspaper.
Aminatta's books have been translated into sixteen languages. Her essays have appeared in Granta, The Guardian, The Observer and Vogue. She has written stories for BBC radio and her TV credits include "The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu" (BBC Television, 2009).
Aminatta is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Folio Academy. She has acted as judge for a number of literary awards, including the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the Caine Prize and the International Man Booker.
She is currently Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. In 2011 and 2013 she held the post of Sterling Brown Visiting Professor at Williams College Massachusetts.
In 2003 Aminatta established the Rogbonko Project to build a school in a village in Sierra Leone. The charity now runs a number of projects in the spheres of education, sanitation and maternal health.
In 2014 Aminatta Forna was named as a winner of a Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize awarded annually by Yale University. She has been named a finalist for the 2016 Neustadt Award. Both prizes are awarded for an author's body of work.