Search Sweet Country
Kojo Laing, Search Sweet Country (San Francisco: McSweeney’s Books, 2011)
We develop some inaccurate perchoptions about language. One of the misperceptions that I have recently been discovering is that I have, in the past, approached English language literature as if it came from Europe or North America. Because I am familiar with American and English literature to some extent, I forget that the globe is filled with lots of other speakers and writers of English and that there is English language literature that comes from other continents.
Kojo Laing’s novel, Search Sweet Country is an excellent example of an English language work from Africa. Set in Ghana, the story provides a wndow on the culture of the country as well as weaving a delightful story. Some of the long sentences almost beg to be read out loud to capture a different way of speaking than is my common mode. The novel, while definitely written language reflects a spoken style that is delightful and a bit challenging for the reader. This is a novel worth putting on the shelf to read again. There are all kinds of details that are easy to miss on a first reading. Originally published in 1986, it is a real gift for McSweeney’s Books to to bring it back to the attention of the American audience.