Amma Darko [ Germany, Ghana ]
Amma Darko comes from the Central region of Ghana. She was born in 1956 and grew up in the capital city
/st1:city>. She holds a degree in Industrial Art from the
/st1:place> of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in
/st1:place>. She worked briefly with the university’s
/st1:place> before she sojourned to in 1981 due to the political instability in her country. She did odd jobs in where she began her writing. Her first novel, »Beyond the Horizon« (1995), though written in English, was first published in German in 1991. Darko was back in her home country then. In 1995 the original was published in English.
The story tells the fate of a young Ghanaian woman who follows her husband to where he forces her into prostitution. It tackles the unrealistic perceptions many Africans have of
/st1:place> and the fear of emigrants to disappoint those they have left back home by not fulfilling certain expectations. Since then, Darko has written five other novels which describe many facets of the Ghanaian society. She employs fast and captivating narrative plots and portrays the realities of the Ghanaian society with cynical humor. She educates without prescribing solutions. Her stories are touching without displaying self pity. Her books have been translated into other languages.
Her second novel, »Spinnweben« (1996; »Cobwebs«) is about the self discovery journey of a young Ghanaian girl. A part of the story was published as a short story together with other African women writers titled »Russians Under Accra«. The discovery of the decomposed body of a child in a bush provides the setting for Darko’s third novel, »The Housemaid« (1998). Her fourth, »Verirrtes Herz« (2000; »A Cross of a Kind«), also out only in the German translation, is soon to be serialised in the original English in the
/st1:place>’s bi-weekly »New Legon Observer«. It deals with the issue of unequal opportunities for Ghanaian girls. Inspired by the fate of street children who she observed near her former office, Darko wrote »Die Gesichtslosen« (2002; »Faceless«, 2003). It is the story of a 14-year-old girl who chooses the streets over home. The book inspired the German prize winning documentary »Roaming Around« (2007). Her latest novel, »Das Lächeln der Nemesis« (2006; »Not Without Flowers«, 2007) tackles greed, infidelity and polygamy.
Darko was the winner of the Ghana Book Award in 1998. She is a fellow of the Cambridge Seminar (UK), the Akademie Schloss Solitude,
/st1:city> () and the IWP, University of Iowa (USA) among others. A critical introduction to her works was recently published in
/st1:city>. Darko is widely read. Her novels are course books in three universities in . She is married with three children and works as a tax inspector in
/st1:city> where she lives with her family. She is presently working on her first project for young readers.
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