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The River Where Blood Is Born

Best Seller
The River Where Blood Is Born by Sandra Jackson-Opoku
Paperback $23.00
Aug 18, 1998 | ISBN 9780345424761

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  • Aug 18, 1998 | ISBN 9780345424761

    Also available from:

  • Jul 08, 2009 | ISBN 9780307559463

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Product Details


Excerpts from reviews of Sandra Jackson-Opoku’s The River Where Blood Is Born

“Jackson-Opoku displays an intimate knowledge of African and Caribbean
culture cultures. From African tradition she creates two powerful
narrators to serve as guides. One, Kwaku Ananse, the spider, will be
familiar as the antagonist in ‘trickster’ tales. The other, the
Gatekeeper, welcomes the souls of mothers who cross over from life to the
Village of the Ancestors. The Gatekeeper mediates between the ancestral
mothers and the daughters they watch over. . . . In its rivers, beads,
webs and quilts, the author’s story weaving is abundant. . . . The threads
of each story are as easy to follow as brightly colored stitchery. . . .
Besides its sheer literary beauty, Jackson-Opoku’s story-weaving will give
readers a new spiritual dimension from which to consider the meaning of

Chicago Sun-Times

“This ambitious first novel begins like the voice of an ancient tribal
storyteller, poetic and mysterious, and we are led through an intricate
tale involving the lives of several generations of Mother Africa’s
daughters. The novel combines myth and reality as it both strings the
story beads and weaves ancestral tales of various women such as Proud
Mary, a captive slave who is savagely punished for her refusal to give her
daughter up to slavery, and Alma, who is compelled to live out her destiny
by returning to the place where blood is born.”

Today’s Black Woman

“That is the great gift of The River Where Blood Is Born. Whether
in Ghana or Chicago, Barbados or Nigeria, the resonance of these voices
rings so true that you think, ‘Don’t I know you?’ And enmeshed in the web
of their stories we come to a perception of the divine aspect of these
women’s lives, their link to the Queen Mother, The Goddess in Everywoman.”

Afrique Magazine

“Jackson-Opoku’s first novel is an expansive tale that exquisitely melds
mythical realms together with an historical family saga spanning centuries
and continents.”


Author Essay

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s recent naming of THE RIVER WHERE BLOOD IS BORN as the winner of its 1998 Best Fiction Of the Year Award confirms what we’ve always believed–this is an extraordinary first novel. Previous winners of this award include: R.L.’s Dream by Walter Mosely, A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, and Push by Sapphire.

This special Ballantine Reader’s Circle Edition includes an interview with the author and discussion guides, which make it the perfect choice for reading groups.

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