Friday, September 3, 2021

The Window Seat by Aminatta Forna


This book is a collection of autobiographical essays by Aminatta Forna.  She is not only an author with books such as The Hired Man and Memory Of Love but a professor of writing in various universities throughout the world.  Forna has led a fascinating life.  Her childhood was spent in various countries.  Her father was executed as a revolutionary in Sierra Leon during the period when various African countries were establishing their independence from colonial rule.  Her stepfather was a diplomat so she and her brother grew up in various embassies in such locations as Iran, Zambia and Thailand.  Her mother was Scottish and she also spent time as a child in Scotland.  The first part of this collection are stories from her childhood and these events.

The latter part of the collection are more reaction pieces to various topics that she has an interest in.  She has a real love for animals that comes through in these pieces.  Topics she covers include the inauguration of Donald Trump, various dogs she has owned and the street dogs in Africa, suffering from insomnia, the experience of being a woman and dealing with men's catcalls and attempts to belittle based on gender, chimpanzees kept as pets or used in testing, peanut butter and wildlife she has encountered, especially foxes and coyotes; the foxes in England and the coyotes in various locations in the United States.  I listened to this book and Forna was the narrator.  Often having the author as the narrator is not a good choice but Forna was an excellent narrator and having her own voice narrating her life experiences was a fabulous choice.

I can highly recommend this book.  Forna is an amazing author and I can't imagine anything she would write that I wouldn't find fascinating.  She is determined to live life on her terms and to live a full life and the reader is blessed to be able to share this part of her life with her.  This book is recommended for readers of memoirs and essays.  

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