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Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes

A woman spots a stunning blue-headed bird at the edge of a Ghanaian village follows it. Sonokrom is a place that has not changed for hundreds of years; the men and women speak the language of the forest, drink aphrodisiacs with their palm wine and commune with the spirits of their ancestors. However, the woman’s intrusion and ensuing events lead to an invasion from Accra, the capital city, spearheaded by Kayo; a young forensic pathologist convinced that scientific logic can shatter even the most inexplicable of mysteries. But as events in the village become more and more incomprehensible, Kayo and his sidekick, Constable Garba are drawn into a world where storytelling is more powerful than any scientific explanation. Tail of the Blue Bird is a poetic fable, at once unsettling and heart-warmingly funny, that exemplifies the futility of trying to categorise Africa, reminding us that the boundaries of truth have never been clear cut.

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Nii Ayikwei Parkes

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