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Brave Music of a Distant Drum Paperback – October 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Manu Herbstein is the Ghanaian author of Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade which won the 2002 Commonwealth Writer's prize for best first book. Brave Music of a Distant Drum makes fresh use of his original research material for a younger, North American audience.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I am blind. Knaggs' whip took out my right eye many years ago; and now my left eye too is only good for shedding tears. My hand can still hold a quill, but without guidance the marks it makes are mere scribbles. I have a story to tell. It lies within me, kicking like a child in the womb, a child whose time has come. If I had died last night, my story would by now be lying with me in my shallow grave; but I did not die last night and I will still tell my story...

I pray that Kwame will bring ink and paper with him as I asked. Then I will tell him the story of my life, from the beginning; and Tomba's, such of it as I know; and he will write it all down. And one day Nandzi Ama will read it; and her children too. Then they will know who their ancestors were and where they came from; and they will understand that the shame of their enslavement lies with the slave traders not with the enslaved.


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More About the Author

Manu Herbstein (b. 1936 near Cape Town, South Africa) holds dual South African and Ghanaian citizenship. In the 1960s he worked as a civil and structural engineer in England, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Ghana again, Zambia and Scotland. He returned to Ghana in 1970 and has lived there since. He began writing seriously as he approached retirement. His first novel, Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, won the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book. It has been published in South Africa and India and a new African edition was launched in Accra, Ghana in September 2010. In the U.S.A, E-Reads publishes a print-on-demand edition, which is also available for the Kindle. A companion web-site,, is a rich repository of primary and secondary texts and images related to the novel. Brave Music of a Distant Drum, published by Red Deer Press in Canada and the U.S. in 2011, is a sequel aimed at younger readers. Akosua and Osman won one of three 2011 Burt Awards for African Literature in Ghana. Published only in Ghana, it is not yet available on Amazon. Ramseyer's Ghost is a dystopian/utopian political thriller set in Ghana in 2050. The author turned down an offer from an independent publisher in the U.S., choosing to self-publish with CreateSpace and Kindle. Also available on Kindle is President Michelle or Ten Days which Shook the World, a story every U.S. citizen should read.

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