374 Pages

Not Without Flowers


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A new novel from a scion of the new generation of writers in Africa. She tells the story of women in Africa: here it is misery, pain, agony , dilemmas, frustrations. She floats the reader on a world of inverted reality, which yet becomes the norm. With creative imagination, confronting the social realities, she seeks out the world of peace and tranquillity. But not without verisimilitude. The extremes of moral turpitude beget horrid outcomes, leaving suspense rather than resolution. Amma Darko is one of the most significant contemporary Ghanaian literary writers. She is the author of three previous novels: Faceless (Sub-Saharan, 2003), The Housemaid (Heinemann, 1999) and Beyond the Horizon (Heinemann, 1995).



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Published 15 October 2007
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EAN13 9789988647117
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0064€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

This edition first published in Ghana, 2007 by SUB-SAHARAN PUBLISHERS P.O. BOX LG 358, LEGON,ACCRA, GHANA
ISBN 9988-647-13-1  978-9988-647-13-1
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
Layout & cover design by AnneYayra Sakyi (Sub-Saharan Publishers)
To Naa Dzama, Kwesi and Nana Kwame
AcknowledgementsForewordPrologueChapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen Chapter NineteenChapter Twenty Chapter Twenty-one Chapter Twenty-two Chapter Twenty-three Chapter Twenty-four Chapter Twenty-five Epilogue
7 9 21 41 47 55 72 87 106 118 128 138 152 168 184 203 225 237 254 262 271 279 287 302 322 327 339 349 361
ALL AROUND THEworld, wherever I have been invited to a writ-ers’ gathering, be it a workshop, a conference or a seminar, I have always turned out to be the odd one out. Other participants always tend to be Professors;Associate Professors; Lecturers with PhDs and founders or members of reputable Non-Governmental Organizations. I am always (so far) the only writer with an eight to five job as a tax woman. Added to caring for my two boisterous young boys and running a home, time and space to create is always very tight. So I wish to acknowledge the Hong Kong Baptist University who granted me the opportunity to be part of their first International Writers’ Workshop. My stay there provided me with the much needed space and concentration to finalize the structuring of this story. The various faculty libraries of the University of Ghana are a rich source of valuable information. In addition to the regular textbooks, there are also the very many unpublished students’ theses. I am most grateful to Mrs. Charity Akotia (PhD), of the Psychology Department, for her tremendous help and guidance and for her entrusting me with some of her textbooks and other reading materials. Mrs.Alice Allotey, the current President of the Ghana Regis-tered Nurses Association, and a good friend of my very supportive sister,Cecilia,also paved the way for me to interact with some staff of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital. My grateful thanks to Mr. Mc-Cauley, the hospital secretary, Mr. Gadotor, the headmaster of the Special School, and Mrs. Henrietta Asare of the Hopsa Ward.
A big thanks also to Enid Owusu of the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute at Legon, and to my daughter Naa Dzama, of the KNUST Medical School for their assistance in some of my research work. An acquaintance who saw me in and out of the Accra Psychi-atric Hospital a couple of times, bombarded me with the offer of strong and powerful prayers by,in her words,a no-nonsense pastor, who knew how to deal with those bad spirits. I knew where she was coming from and couldn’t blame her. She was very well aware of the Psychiatric Hospital’s statistics, that the triggering factors of over ninety percent of the mentally sick female inmates were rooted in marital problems, and drew certain conclusions. I had a hard time trying to convince her that I was there researching for my book. I want to acknowledge the continuous support and encour-agement I have had from Kofi Anyidoho, Kari Dako, KwesiYan-kah and Ama Ata Aidoo. Special mention of Attukwei Okai, the Secretary General of the Pan African Writers Association, who always has an inspiring word for me must be made. Finally, to my Ghanaian publishers, Sub-Saharan Pulishers, I say ‘Thank you for your belief in me.’
OVER A DECADEAmma Darko appears to have seized the centre stage of women’s world, plowing, tickling and reaching into inner recesses, to tell their story.A story of misery, pain, agony, dilemmas, frustrations.AfterFaceless,her last novel, where the grim realities of street side nightmares unfold in gory detail,Amma Darko floats her reader this time on a petal of Flowers, with a capital F. But these are Flowers of pain.Amma’s Flowers are not comfort-ing, not soothing; they spark off deadly allergies, and set victims on a trail of dis-ease.They upset Ma, throw her into misery and shatter her dreams, her hopes, her world. It’s a world full of in-verted reality; yet this topsy-turvy world, becomes the norm in Not Without Flowers. Close to a decade into the twenty-first century, the Ghanaian society Amma Darko mirrors is one of chaos and perverted val-ues. It’s a world replete with family crises, triggering nightmares, premonitions, mental disorders, suicide, prosmiscuity and ultimate infections: HIV/AIDS. But this turbulence is camouflaged under a veil of romance and cultural mores of which polygamy and superstition are ingloriously showcased. Underneath, however, is the messy reality of a pervasive social malaise, of adultery and promiscuity. The tragic outcomes are self evident in the pages: broken homes of childless couples, mothers driven into mental homes, and shattered fathers seeking answers in suicide. But in the 21st century,Africa descends further into the abyss