The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion by Aminatta Forna

‘To fly alone as a child was my first taste of what it might feel like to be on my own in the world.’

What can I tell you about this beautiful collection of non-fiction essays? Ms Forna writes about the past, of significant events, of her own experiences. She invites you to think about colonialism, to revisit your own childhood experiences while reading hers. I see Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 through different eyes, I think about the importance of sleep while reading of Ms Forna’s experiences of insomnia.

‘Sleep left me in the year 2001. I realise now that my sleeplessness coincided with my decision to become a writer.’

 I am taken on journeys around the world (in the window seat, of course) and am reminded of the importance of ancestry and the pain of displacement. I see a different view of the Trump inauguration and read about the only qualified vet in private practice in Freetown. Diverse topics indeed.

I finished this compilation of beautifully written reflective pieces, take a deep breath, and return to my own world.

So far, the only other work of Ms Forna’s I have read is ‘Happiness’. I have added Ms Forna’s other books to my reading list.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Grove Press for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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