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Sutherland, Efua

Tu-ma-tu. A photobook depicting the children of Ghana.

Tu-ma-tu. A photobook depicting the children of Ghana.

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Boston Book Fair 2023 / Children books / Photobooks / Poetry
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Sutherland, Efua Tu-ma-tu.

Retold from English by Nina Voronel’.
[Photos by Willis E. Bell].

Moskva, Detgiz, 1962.
8vo, 54, [10] pp., ill.

In original pictorial wrappers.
Near very good condition, small cracks to front cover and first pages.

This is the Russian edition of "Playtime in Africa" – a children's photobook authored by Ghanaian children's author, child advocate, and cultural activist Efua Sutherland (1924-1996), along with American expatriate documentary photographer Willis Eugene Bell (1924-1999). The original edition was published in 1960 in Ghana (West Africa) and was hailed as a "trailblazing exploration of Ghana's play culture." Released three years after Ghana's independence, the book became the inaugural documentation of children's play culture in the country. Interestingly, Sutherland also visited the USSR as a delegate to the 1st Conference of Asian and African Writers held in Tashkent in 1958. "Playtime in Africa" made its appearance in Moscow in 1962 and was also published in the Moldavian language in Kishinev, the capital of Soviet Moldavia.
Sutherland's verses underwent a reimagining by Soviet-Jewish translator, underground playwright, and dissident Nina Voronel’ (born 1932), whose literary mentor was Korney Chukovsky. Notably, she gained recognition for her Russian translation of Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" (1961). She emigrated to Israel in 1974.
The book's cover and the illustrations in a children's drawing style were most likely crafted by the book designer Yuriy Kiselev (1910-1976).

OCLC locates one copy of this edition only: in the Stanford University Library. 

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