Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fragments ” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Ayi Kwei Armah
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Fragments deals with the subject of materialism in contemporary Ghana. In it, the main character Baako is a "been to", meaning that he has been to the United States and received his education there. As a result of this privilege, he is expected to return to his family bearing the monetary gifts which this status yields in Ghana. These material goods are bought with graft a ...more
Published 1971
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 390)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 27, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Another masterpiece from Armah, which deserves to be brought back into print and widely read by anyone with even a passing interest in post-colonial Africa, and/or desirous of reading perfectly crafted prose such as :

"He was a short man, with something swollen and out of shape about his shortness, so that the eye on first seeing him searched unordered for some twisting cause, for something perhaps like a lump on his back. But there was nothing there to explain the twistedness, until the baffle
Jul 30, 2009 D rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not Ayi Kwei Armah's best book. I believe this was written shortly after The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, and it carries many of the same themes. Like Beautyful Ones, the main character is a morally righteous man suffering from existential angst and struggling against a corrupt society. In this book, one gets an even stronger feeling that the character is based on Armah himself. Again like Beautyful Ones, Armah uses detailed descriptions of the grotesque in order to render the fester ...more
Nana Fredua-Agyeman
Fragments is one of those novels that criticised the rush for materialism over the quest for knowledge and discipline that took most African countries by storm in the years following independence.

The following is my review on my blog...

Sep 29, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful work by Armah, exploring the arcane world of madness, materialism, and all sorts of misplaced values rather deep-seated. The author's descriptive abilities are amazing indeed and the gallery of characters unfold easily, if disturbingly.
Apr 21, 2016 Hattie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I ever read, Armahs writing style is incredible, so much attention to detail.
I really reccomend
africawrites  - The RAS' annual festival of African Literature
I haven't read Fragments - but Ayi Kwei Armah's reputation and stature as one of the leading lights of post-colonial African literature - puts it on my 'must read before I die' list.

If you like this book or others like it, please join us for Africa Writes. It takes place this year at the British Library from 5-7 July 2013.

For more info on the festival, visit our website:

You may also like our Facebook page:

Follow us on twitte
Elaine Thompson
Oct 27, 2014 Elaine Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful account of 1960's Ghana and the social pressures of returning graduates.

My father returned to Ghana during that period, and we were small children, but I understand what he is describing. The relatives who expected much in return.
Brandon Phillips
This is a powerful novel that ties personal warfare, love, greed, and excitement into an amazing storyline.
Jerome Kuseh
May 23, 2015 Jerome Kuseh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african
A look at the clash between traditional communal living and the individualistic materialism of military-ruled post-Nkrumah Ghana told through a returnee who cannot bear the expectations on him by his family. The prose is classic Armah - long, verbose and poetic. It gets tiring to read at times and the ending is rather unsatisfactory but its theme is one which as so relevant that it is surprising how seldom it appears in Ghanaian literature.
David Hicks
Starts off a little too pedantically and is a bit too agenda-driven for my tastes, but still, it's wonderful to be introduced (by a friend) to this Ghanaian writer--and the ending was terrific, if a little overwrought. :)
Sep 14, 2015 Camille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
on the emptiness of consumerism in the face of necessary change

also on confident knowing as resistance (if the posture is possible)

armah makes interesting statements about postcolonial ghana

(i FINALLY finished this book)
Sep 20, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1,5 -.-
Arbraxan marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Sulanji Chabala
Sulanji Chabala marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Mailesi Kaluba
Mailesi Kaluba marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Don Shah
Don Shah marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Alpha Oumar
Alpha Oumar marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
Taira TOE
Taira TOE marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2016
Alassane Doumbia
Alassane Doumbia marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Wobil Anita
Wobil Anita marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2016
SIMPHIWE SMPLER marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2016
Mwelwa Frederick
Mwelwa Frederick marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2016
Sofia marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2016
Nsiah Stephen
Nsiah Stephen rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2016
Zebene marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Search Sweet Country
  • Head Above Water
  • AMA
  • You Must Set Forth at Dawn
  • Harvest of Thorns
  • Tail of the Blue Bird
  • The House of Hunger
  • Praying Mantis
  • Mine Boy
  • The Poor Christ of Bomba
  • A Question of Power
  • The Stone Virgins
  • Harare North
  • Efuru
  • Powder Necklace: A Novel
  • A Grain of Wheat
  • Song for Night
  • The Radiance of the King
Born to Fante-speaking parents, with his father's side Armah descending from a royal family in the Ga tribe in the port city of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, [1] Armah, having attended the renowned Achimota School, left Ghana in 1959 to attend Groton School in Groton, MA. After graduating, he entered Harvard University, receiving a degree in sociology. Armah then moved to Algeria and worked as a transl ...more
More about Ayi Kwei Armah...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“You have a fullness you need to bring out. It's not an emptiness you need to cover up with things.” 1 likes
More quotes…