On 13 June, 1873 British forces bombarded Elmina Town and destroyed it. It was never rebuilt. Later that same year, using seaborne artillery, the British flattened ten coastal towns and villages - including Axim, Takoradi and Sekondi. On 6 February, 1874, after looting the Asantehene's palace in Kumasi, British troops blew up the stone building and set the city on fire, razing it to the ground. 15-year old Kofi Gyan witnesses these events and records them in his diary. This novel, first published soon after the 140th anniversary of the sack of Kumase, tells his story.
Ghanaian/South African author Manu Herbstein has written four novels, including Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, which won the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book.