Episode # 8

Ghana Must Go
A Novel

Taiye Selasi

Introducing a powerful new novelist whose evocation of an unforgettable African family is testament to the transformative power of unconditional love. Read More »

On Sale Date:



The Penguin Press
336 pgs.




Nora Rawlinson & Taiye Selasi
discuss Ghana Must Go
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Ghana Must Go

Kwaku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside the home he shares in Ghana with his second wife. The news of Kwaku's death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story.

Electric, exhilarating, beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go follows the Sais' journey, moving with great elegance through time and place to share the truths hidden and lies told; the crimes committed in the name of love. In the wake of Kwaku's death, the family gathers in Ghana, at their mother, Fola's, new home. The eldest son and his new wife; the mysterious, beautiful twins; their baby sister, now a young woman—all come together for the first time in years, each carrying secrets of his own. What is revealed in their coming together is the story of how they came apart.

But the horrible fragility of the world they have built soon becomes clear, and Kwaku's leaving begets a series of betrayals that none of them could have imagined. Splintered, alone, each navigates his pain, believing that what has been lost can never be recovered—until, in Ghana, a new way forward, a new family, begins to emerge.

Ghana Must Go is at once a portrait of a family and an exploration of the importance of where we come from and our obligations to one another. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from West Africa to New England to London, Ghana Must Go teaches that the stories we share with one another can build a new future.

Praise for Ghana Must Go

There are family stories and there are family stories. In Ghana Must Go, Taiye Selasi makes of an exceptional family a most compelling, exceptional, absolutely amazing novel. Trying to describe this book almost reduces it. I haven’t read anything so psychologically astute, insightful, or dead-on heart-true in an eon - what happens between a husband and wife over time, between parents and children, between siblings - at different ages, at different stages: the pacts, secrets, betrayals, inheritances, rejections, aspirations, expectations, mysteries and revelations that make for family life, that make for any life. Add in all the arrivals and departures - Accra, Lagos, Boston, Baltimore, back and forth, forth and back, wherever else this book’s echoing rhythms and passages take it - and you have a singular story of the world today, quick, slow, at once vast, epic, global, and yet incredibly intimate, in-this-very-house close. Woven through - seamlessly, beautifully, at times breathtakingly - is a charged, lyrical language that carries the great weight of this story, and does so with grace, assurance, and a deft light touch. All praise and amen are about all that can be said to close this - one could go on. But one should open the pages and go on - there, the pages of what Taiye Selasi has so marvelously created."

— Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

TAIYE SELASI was born in London and raised in Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in American studies from Yale and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford. The Sex Lives of African Girls (Granta, 2011), Selasi's fiction debut, will appear in Best American Short Stories 2012. She lives in Rome.