Samuel Reilly

Let Them Eat Corned Beef

Search Sweet Country


Penguin Modern Classics 368pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, president of Ghana from 1972 to 1978, is remembered particularly for his slogans. The modernising initiatives he oversaw – driving on the right, national ‘self-reliance’ in agriculture – were given names that smack at once of the ad man’s office and the barracks: Operation Keep Right, Operation Feed Yourself. As the sociologist Professor Sackey notes with irony towards the end of Search Sweet Country – the Kumasi-born writer Kojo Laing’s debut novel, published in 1986 and now reissued by Penguin – Acheampong renamed a roundabout in central Accra ‘Redemption Circle’. ‘The poor circle is still going round in circles,’ says Sackey, ‘trying to find out how and what it is supposed to redeem!’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,