“Delightfully assertive, subversive and vibrant... an original voice.” ––Imbolo Mbue, author of the New York Times bestseller and PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction winner Behold the Dreamers "A compelling delight"—Booklist

A visceral and candid portrait of today’s Ghanaian youth, told in interconnected short stories by acclaimed spoken-word artist and author of the poetry collection Woman, Eat Me Whole Ama Asantewa Diaka.

In this startling collection of short fiction, Ama Asantewa Diaka creates a vibrant portrait of young Ghanaians’ today, captured in the experiences of characters whose lives bump against one other in friendship, passion, hope, and heartache. Men like Opoku Sr., not yet forty and struggling to keep his family’s cocoa business afloat after his father’s unexpected passing. Opoku strains under the burden of caring for his eight younger siblings and the child whose mother ran off. When his new girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant, he knows he has nothing left to give.

Years later, that girlfriend’s son, Opoku Jr., now faces his own troubles, including his girlfriend Boatemaa, who (correctly) suspects he is sneaking around, and Amoafoa, the woman he’s seeing on the side. And there is John, who confides to his crush Baaba about a surprising encounter with a male friend over a game of FIFA; Baaba, who falls into a whirlwind romance with her professor that ends in violence; and their friend Ayeley, who is learning to accept pleasure after being raised to believe it is sinful.

Diaka charts this constellation of interconnected lives in thirteen stories, exploring themes which run through the collection like a current: corruption and economic hardship, trauma and infidelity, shame, neglect, and the tribulations of the female body. In telling their stories, Diaka illuminates hope, freedom, and triumph that can be found in the everyday—the bonds between women, the joys of love and sex and art and dancing, the possibility of repair and redemption.

Renowned for her spoken word artistry, Ama Asantewa Diaka demonstrates her lyrical brilliance in this emotionally rich work that unveils profound truths about her country, its inhabitants, and the universality of human experience.

About the author(s)

Ama Asantewa Diaka is a Ghanaian poet, storyteller, and spoken word artist who performs as Poetra Asantewa. She is the author of the chapbook, You Too Will Know Me, and the debut poetry collection, Woman, Eat Me Whole, and her poems and fiction have appeared in print and online. She recently completed an MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Ghana.


“Ama Asantewa Diaka’s debut story collection is delightfully assertive, subversive and vibrant. Hers is an original voice.” — Imbolo Mbue, author of the New York Times bestseller and PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction winner Behold the Dreamers

Someone Birthed Them Broken is a work of stunning beauty, and Ama's mastery of language shines through in this cleverly interlinked collection of stories. This is a must-read for anyone who loves bold unexpected stories that are rich in specificity, and yet universal in nature.”
Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, author of The Sex Lives of African Women

"A refreshing, raw and passionate kaleidoscope of stories set in contemporary Ghana where young people rip off their skin and expose their most secret, anguished desires. Each story dissects an anatomy of a relationship, be it romantic or otherwise. The writing is fearless, full of barbed wit and pathos, the accompanying art a treat worth savoring. Hypnotic.” — Bisi Adjapon, author of The Teller of Secrets

 “The thirteen entwined stories in Someone Birthed Them Broken, are a confirmation of the impressive range of Ama Asantewa Diaka’s artistry. Diaka allows us to feel the pulse of today’s Ghana as she deftly captures both its vitality and dysfunction. This collection stands out for its rhythmic prose, spirited characters, and unflinching portrayal of human nature.” — Chimeka Garricks, author of A Broken People’s Playlist