Books teach us patience. They wait for us between their lonesome times on dusty shelves. When we rediscover them and read them, they gift us new meanings. Here is a selection of books that are patiently waiting to share their stories.
P. D. Casely-Hayford
Book Cover Art & Photography: P. D. Casely-Hayford
Jembe the Journey Home is the first novel of the Kembrekki Trilogy by P.D. Casely-Hayford. A letter arrives, a journey begins, taking Cecilia and Eddie out of their tiny apartment in London, and into the mountains and jungles of West Africa. Their sense of reality is jolted as they encounter the realms of the Ancestors.
Mysterious events, adventure and intrigue build the world of Jembe, the Journey Home as Edward and Cecilia attempt to heal their relationship by traveling to West Africa. Family secrets, birthrights, and the Ancestors lead them on a series of strange events and distractions. These encounters take them to the sacred road of the Ancestors.
When Freedom Kissed Her is the title of a book of poems by P.D. Casely-Hayford. This poetry collection begins with a provocative set of works that questions our apathy and fear of caring for people whose circumstances place them in outside our place of comfort. This section is followed by poems inspired by the poet’s heritage, which is Ghanaian. The final set of poems explore the fluidity of emotional memory.
Book Cover art & photography: P.D. Casely-Hayford
Book Cover art, Mark Hunter.
Courtesy of Yema Lucilda Hunter
Young Gladys Casely-Hayford:
photograph courtesy of Yema Lucilda Hunter
An African Treasure: in Search of Gladys Casely-Hayford, 1904 - 1950 is the biography of Gladys Casely- Hayford by Sierra Leone author, Yema Lucilda Hunter.
Gladys Casely-Hayford was a West African writer, poet, musician, dramatist, painter and storyteller. She was the daughter of the political visionary Pan Africanist and West African nationhood leader, J.E. Casely-Hayford. Her mother was African Victorian feminist, Adelaide Smith Casely-Hayford. Gladys has been described as, "a cultural luminary of her day," and as an "outstanding [author] among Creole literati."
In the United States of America there has been a resurgence of interest in the creative writing of Gladys Casely-Hayford. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in recent anthologies. Some readers believe she was part of the great cannon of African-American women writers known as the Harlem Renaissance. However, Gladys spent most of her life in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Yema Lucilda says, "her place in the cultural history of Sierra Leone and Ghana seems to have been lost. This book is an attempt to remedy that situation as well as tell her life story."
Book Cover photograph
Courtesy of Yema Lucilda Hunter
First published as 'Road to Freedom', this is the story of former African slaves who fought on the side of the British in the American war of Independence and after their defeat, emigrated to Nova Scotia. Seeking a better life and more meaningful freedom, over 1000 of them resettled in West Africa with the assistance of a company formed by British philanthropists. Freetown, the colony they founded became the capital of Sierra Leone. Told through the eyes of a fictitious settler, Seeking Freedom is the stirring tale of their return to Africa and of their struggle to realise their hopes in a trying climate and amid sometimes hostile indigenes, unexpected dangers and conflicts with officials of the company that sponsored their emigration.
Photograph of author, Yema Lucilda Hunter
Yema Lucilda Hunter was born and grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She completed her education in the United Kingdom, qualifying as a graduate librarian. For many years she was the Librarian at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown before taking up an appointment at the Regional Office for Africa of the World Health Organization in Congo, Brazzaville. Now retired, she lives with her husband in Accra, Ghana. Yema Lucilda has published five novels: Road to Freedom, Bittersweet, Redemption Song, Joy Came in the Morning, Nanna, and of a biography - An African Treasure: in search of Gladys Casely-Hayford.