When i picked up this book, it was hard to believe that African writing could return to the heights that Wole Sonyika, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Naguib Mahfouz and John Coetzee had done in the past. The book is a refreshing taste of what African writing can mature to and has always had as over world literature. And the author receives a strong cosign from one of the people she looks upto, Achebe. And this is what he had to say abut her, “She is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient story tellers.” It can not get better than that.
And Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie does exactly that with her second book, Half of a Yellow Sun. The book is her take on the The Biafra war that took place in the late 1960s specifically between 6th July 1967 to 15th January 1970. Continue reading
Nairobi’s bookshop scene might be vibrant but you can owe all that vibrancy to the numerous ‘advisory’ books that are out there. “XX Ways To Make Money”, “How To Get and Keep The Right Man or Woman”, “Why You Need The Right Attitude At Your Workplace” are some of the titles that are popular. And they are reported to be moving quite fast off the shelves. That is good enough. At least it marks that the reading culture is not dead. But it is not so with what I would call the fathers of yore in ‘African literature’. I remember when I was looking for Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk which is part of the Cairo Trilogy. My usual library did not have the first book and the next two that I visited also did not have the first book. In the fourth bookshop I visited, they did not have the second book. I just decided to get the first book and hunt for the second book once I was done with it. Continue reading