Aminatta FOrna


The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion

Available now from Grove Press

Aminatta Forna is one of our most important literary voices, and her novels have won the Windham Campbell Prize in Fiction 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.

Praise for The Window Seat

"Gorgeously enlarges the reader's world." World Literature Today

"It may just be the perfect post-pandemic read, and Forna the ideal post-pandemic writer." Washington Independent Review of Books

"Forna's ruminations are deeply felt yet unsentimental....[her] window-seat view is that of a 'light sleeper' and 'lucid dreamer,' whose wide-ranging subjects chart a path toward a kind of freedom, to be at home, always elsewhere." The New York Times

"It's an essay collection... that takes us from Sierra Leone to the Shetland Islands, from Iran in 1978 on the verge of revolution to a Whole Foods outside Washington, D.C., in 2020. Bookstores are filled with personal essay collections; this one, by roving both farther and deeper than most, stands above." Los Angeles Times

"Novelist Forna (Happiness) explores notions of place, identity, and movement in this bracing collection. In vignettes and long-form essays, she describes traveling through Mali; England, where she went to school; Sierra Leone, where she spent much of her childhood; and the U.S....Full of careful observations, Forna's meditations hit the mark." Publishers Weekly

"With this collection, she proves a compelling essayist...her voice direct, lucid and fearless. All the pieces are enjoyable and often surprising. But the most substantial ones are memorable—even unforgettable." Claire Messud for Harper's

"The pieces in [this] collection range in subject and scope, from shadowing the lone veterinarian in Sierra Leone to drawing connections between Barack Obama's life and her father's to describing her experience walking all over the world as a Black woman. The result is a moving examination of places and people, filled with Forna's carefully constructed observations and analysis." TIME (Pick of the Month)

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