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In December 2019, as Ghana's vibrant streets buzz with the climax of the "Year of Return," an initiative marking 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were forcibly taken to Virginia, Adwapa, a Ghanaian journalist living in the U.S., decides to journey back to her homeland. Accompanied by friends, she seeks to reconnect with her roots during this historic commemoration, unaware that the trip will lead them into the heart of a mystery that transcends time and reality.


But as the celebrations reach their zenith, the Atlantic Ocean, witness to untold horrors of the past, begins to stir with an ancient and restless energy. From its depths emerge the spirits of the enslaved, those who perished in the harrowing Middle Passage, returning not in peace but in turmoil. Their emergence sends shockwaves around the globe, transforming the "Year of Return" into a haunting spectacle of reawakened histories and unresolved grievances.


As the line between the living and the dead blurs, Adwapa finds herself caught in a whirlwind of supernatural events and historical reckonings. With each passing day, the ghosts grow more powerful, their centuries-old sorrows manifesting in a series of chilling, vengeful acts that threaten to unravel the very fabric of the present.


What people saying about THE YEAR OF RETURN


"Nuanced, disturbing, powerful, political. Ofori is a stunning new voice."

     —Samit Basu


"Akotowaa’s The Year of Return is a moving story weaving history, family ties, and found community into a unique tapestry. It seamlessly pulls the past into the present, bringing ancestors and descendants together, and forcing to the surface the consequences of injustices long committed. She presents the lived experiences of our ancestors in its rawest, most authentic form. The Year of Return is a remembrance, an unearthing, and a worthy piece of storytelling."

     —Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki. Nebula, Locus, Otherwise, British, World Fantasy award  winner, Hugo, British Science Fiction & NAACP Image award finalist. 


"A moving and timely perspective on one of the greatest horrors in human history. Ofori presents ancient and recent events in a startlingly original take about our responsibilities to our past, our present, and our future."

     —R.S.A. Garcia, Locus, Sturgeon, Nebula and IGNYTE Award finalist


"Fast-paced and fantastical, Akotowaa delivers a chilling reimagination of contemporary times brimming with commentary on the Year of Return Blackness and Africanness."

     —Kobby Ben Ben, author


"Ivana Akotowaa Ofori’s THE YEAR OF RETURN is a haunting, darkly evocative tale of the ghosts of the past, delivering a harrowing vision of history’s undeniable grasp on the present and the future alike." 

     —Kevin Wabaunsee, assistant editor at Escape Pod, former managing editor of the SFWA


Ivana Akotowaa Ofori's debut novella is a riveting tale of vengeance centuries in the making. Unease seeps into the psyche from the first pages and lingers long after the story is over. Ofori’s voice – fresh, distinct, and unpretentious – creates a disquieting sense that everything that happens on the page could happen in the real world tomorrow. Yet The Year of Return is not just a creepy, cautionary tale or a clever comment on how the evils of history mar the present. It’s a nuanced exploration of collective grief, collective responsibility and collective amnesia. It is a call to action, grounded in actual events and all-too familiar characters. Expect exciting things from Ivana Akotowaa Ofori – she is certain to deliver.

     —Cheryl S. Ntumy, author of “The Way of Baa’gh” in MOTHERSOUND and SONGS FOR THE SHADOWS


"THE YEAR OF RETURN, the debut novella from Ivana Akotowaa Ofori, is fast paced and thought-provoking. It does a fantastic job of unearthing the roots of the ills in Ghana and the world as we know it. A thoroughly satisfying read."

     —Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of ZAINAB TAKES NEW YORK

The Year of Return (ebook)

SKU: 043
  • Title: The Year of Return
    Author: Ivana Akotowaa Ofori
    Publisher: ‎Android Press
    ISBN: 978-1958121849
    Format: EPUB
    Release Date: May 21, 2024
    Page Count: 120

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