Ayesha H. Attah

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The Hundred Wells of SalagaThe Hundred Wells of Salaga

Two women's lives intersect in pre-colonial Ghana.
One is enslaved. The other becomes her mistress.
A book about courage, love, forgiveness, and freedom.

BUY the book:

Cassava Republic Press | Amazon UK | Other Press (US release Feb '19)

Dutch (Uitgeverij Orlando)
French (Gaïa Éditions)
German (Diana Verlag)
Italian (Marcos y Marcos)
Turkish (Palto Yayinevi)

PRAISE for The Hundred Wells of Salaga:

"One of the strengths of the novel is that it complicates the idea of what “African history” is; while the film Black Panther mixed ethnicities and cultures for the sake of spectacle, Attah emphasises often overlooked distinctions of religion, language and status. ... Attah skilfully portrays this volatile, doomed civilisation and has a careful eye for domestic and historical detail."
- The Guardian


"The Hundred Wells of Salaga is a dazzling tale woven around two equally dazzling and spunky young women. Aminah and Wurche’s spirits triumph over even “domestic slavery”.  ... interesting youthful female characters do not fall from just anywhere, they are the embodiment of the essence of womanhood ... this beautiful novel affirms the wholesomeness, however compromised, of the girls’ environment in their formative years. We welcome Ayesha's The Hundred Wells of Salaga with ululation."
- Ama Ata Aidoo, author of Our Sister Killjoy

"With this necessary examination of West African slavery as it was experienced in West Africa, Ayesha Harruna Attah presents not only a fresh perspective on the transatlantic human trade, but a nuanced exploration of the human heart. A mess of moral contradictions and inconvenient passions are par for the course in The Hundred Wells of Salaga, driving each character to unexpected detours and the story itself past predictable morals. There are no easy resolutions or neatly tied bows--only arrows amidst an arsenal of guns and ambitions urgently seeking their targets. With The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Attah asserts the need to keep pressing toward freedom whatever the constraint or twist, until, or else, we die."
- Nana Brew-Hammond, author of Powder Necklace


"Ayesha’s prose is festive, reminiscent of the drumbeats of old, yet with a modern rhythm and pace at its core. Her sentences are firm, muscular, vibrant and well-structured, creating an imagery that stays with you long after you have finished reading the novel. Her ability to depict joyful scenes alongside heart-breaking ones is what makes the novel thrive and gives it its exceptional realism. Ayesha's depiction of the lives of the characters and the description of the novel's setting and atmosphere is so incisive the reader could almost hear the sounds of the horses and the market, smell the sweat and blood of the slave girl, and even feel as if he or she is walking the streets of Old Salaga. The novel is a rich tapestry of humanity in all its ugliest and glorious forms. This is feminist writing at its best, a homage to Queen Amina and Yaa Asantewaa, women whose gallantry defied the status females were relegated to in mid to late 19th century West Africa."
- Mohammed Naseehu Ali, author of The Prophet of Zongo Street


"An instant modern classic. Gave me the same feeling as when I finished reading Things Fall Apart; like something deep within me had shifted, and would never be the same again."
- JJ Bola, author of No Place To Call Home


"Ayesha Harruna Attah’s novel, The Hundred Wells of Salaga is an enchanting narrative that keeps the reader spellbound from beginning to end. Attah’s words are cowrie shells, each one in place in soulful sentences bursting with profound meaning. The characters are exquisite and infused with uncommon dignity; these are not just unthinking stick figures, but real, breathing, thinking people drawn from the tapestry of Africa’s rich history. Love oozes out of the pores of this gorgeous book. In its humanity, in the longing and hurts of its beautiful characters, the reader comes face to face with the beauty of our shared humanity as brave women walk tall, roaming the land.. You can feel the earth throb under your eyes’ feet. And Attah does it in gorgeous prose-poetry. This is a really good book."
- Ikhide R. Ikheloa, cultural critic

"In The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Attah expertly juggles the grand, brutal scope of Ghana's history with the mysteries of her family's past. The result is a novel that's as sweeping as it is intimate--a wholly immersive story that explores loss and dignity with wit, wisdom, and astounding compassion."
- Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding



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Ayesha is represented by the Pontas Agency.

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