The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature novelist Aminatta Forna on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in the John and Dede Howard Recital Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.
There will also be a question-and-answer session in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication earlier in the day, at 3:30 p.m.
The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.
Aminatta Forna is the award-winning author of the novels “The Hired Man,” “The Memory of Love” and “Ancestor Stones,” and a memoir, “The Devil that Danced on the Water.” She was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Britain, and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. The Times of London has said of her work that “She threads her stories like music. . . . One is left hauntingly familiar with the distant and alien; not quite able to distinguish the emotional spirits of fiction from the scars of real experience.”
Her fiction has won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award, and has been short-listed for the Neustadt Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the IMPAC Award and the Warwick Prize. “The Devil that Danced on the Water,” a memoir of her dissident father and of Sierra Leone, was runner-up for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003, chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers series and serialized on BBC Radio and in The Sunday Times newspaper.
Aminatta is currently a Lannan Visiting Chair at Georgetown University, and previously held appointments at Bath Spa University and Williams College, Massachusetts. She is also a columnist for the Guardian, and her writing has appeared in Granta, The Times, The Observer and Vogue. She has acted as judge for a number of literary awards and was most recently a judge for the 2013 International Man Booker Prize.
In 2003, Aminatta established the Rogbonko Project to build a school in a village in Sierra Leone. The charity now runs a number of projects in the spheres of education, sanitation and maternal health.
Additional information about the series can be found online at hope.edu/vws.
The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street. Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is located at 221 Columbia Ave., between Ninth and 10th streets.