To date, there are only a few works of fiction that explore the African experience within continental Europe and just a handful address the Afro-German experience, so Ayim’s book is important in helping to fill this gap.
Sarah Ladipo Manyika
A captivating and rich novel, The God Child paints a strong image of the changing perception of African culture. Set between Germany, England and Ghana, narrator Maya is thrust into a whirlwind of family stories, unfulfilled prophecies and alien cultures, while she struggles to place herself in her surroundings as a young girl.
While The God Child is Ghanaian writer Nana Oforiatta Ayim’s first novel, you might well already be familiar with her name. In 2002, she set up the Ano Institute of Arts & Knowledge in Accra – the city’s first gallery space without some kind of colonial history – and in 2017 she was named one of Apollo’s 40 Under 40 Global Thinkers.
Already an internationally recognized, award-winning art historian and filmmaker, Nana Oforiatta Ayim makes her literary debut with The God Child, a compelling and ambitious novel. Through narrative jumps in time and place, as well as jarring disruptions in multiple languages (most notably, untranslated Twi and German, occasionally French), Oforiatta Ayim seems intent on keeping her readers in a state of unsettled flux.
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American
Shelf Awareness Pro
This book is like an art installation: different pieces that you pause on, that you don’t always know the full story behind. Jumping from one point to another so that, like Maya, who looks ‘at [her] reflection in the mirror, half there, half in another place’ the reader is sometimes made to feel lost, to have the narrative rug pulled out from under their feet. That might feel uncomfortable. Dare I say, that is the point.
Maya, the only child of a Ghanaian expat couple living in Germany, learns to adjust to her parents’ newly adopted son in this sensitively told story about immigration and family.
The God Child is no different with Kojo’s drive to establish a museum in Accra is closely aligned to Ayim’s project of establishing an open-source encyclopedia of African history. Ayim’s fascination with art history resulted in her being the curator of the African pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale
Jaya Bhattacharji Rose