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, India and Ghana. In the U.S.A, it is available from Amazon and Ingram and as an eBook. A companion website, www.ama.africatoday.com, is a rich repository of primary and secondary texts and images related to the novel. Brave Music of a Distant Drum, first 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. Ramseyer's Ghost is a dystopian/utopian political thriller set in Ghana in 2050. President Michelle or Ten Days that Shook the World is a short story aimed at U.S. readers. Manu's latest novel, The Boy who Spat in Sargrenti's Eye, received the U.S.-based African Literature Association's 2016 Book of the Year Award for Creative Writing, awarded for "an outstanding book of African literature."
Awards and Recognition
- Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book, 2002
- Burt Award for African Literature in Ghana (twice)
- African Literature Association's Book of the Year Award for Creative Writing, 2016