The best thing about been in a book club is the mind blowing discussions that make me question my reading capability. The hullabaloo that got even the silent ones talking was on what is African Literature. There’s this merry go around we do where we read an African book for one month then the next month we do a non-African. The confusion started when a reader suggested we do Helen Oyeyemi but i was quick to interject she is a British writer. Then to prove me wrong one said she was born in Africa and migrated to the UK at the age of 4. Correct i said, but been born African doesn’t qualify one’s work into been African Literature.
To make it even more debatable, readers went ahead to pin point African authors who live abroad and non-African authors who write African content. Pigeonholing also cropped up where many half cast African authors have frequently been asked to classify their writing or where audience is felt outside than in Africa. An article by Taiye Selasi on the Guardian Pigeonholing aroused me even more.
Who is an African author? Which book qualifies to be an African book? Why do you read African books? It is because of the poverty porn displayed by authors, the different themes displayed, the style that showcases real life experiences or because it made it to been the best seller in some other continent? Not only Africa, does the same happen in other continents?
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After the death of Will, Lou finds it hard to adjust and while ranting out to the skies she falls off from her building making her almost paralyzed. What disappoints me is that i expected her to have enrolled in uni, invested her money or done something with the will left but she starts off at an airport bar cleaning toilets and serving freaky passengers with booze. Her family seems to be a-okay apart from her father who blames Treena for making her mother change to a feminist who thinks she has to make amends in her life before aging gracefully. Paramedic Sam the save-me- captain who took her to the hospital becomes her lover and although the past haunts she still finds love in him. She joins the Moving On Circle a healing group where surreal experiences are shared out and in fact makes friends out of it.
The interesting twist of the book is when Lily-Will’s unknown daughter shows up. Her existence comes about from a college fling Will had with her mother but been the naughty -stubborn teen her parents cannot tolerate her, she thinks the world hates her until she discovers her real papa is dead. To retrace her steps and know her other family Lou becomes entangled in a relationship she has to see put for the sake of Will even if it means foregoing her new New York job. She must save Lily from a past that belittles her (a binge drinking gone wrong, blow job shit happens, video blackmail of the act, money to shut off the nigga, theft to keep up with the torture, captain blackmail-stepdad’s buddy saves her in return of sex…oooh boy). More so, Lou must bring together the separated Will’s family where Mr.T married the redhead, are blessed with a baby girl, Mrs. T life scrambled but all the pains are replaced with joy when Lily comes into their life. Did i forget we almost lost Sam! A life saving mission gone wrong at the hands of drug barons and he almost died (i sweatergawd if he had died i would never read another Moyes book like do all her lovers have to die?)
This series of a book ends with Lou going to New York so can’t wait to see what happens next. Does she live, push herself and finally settles?
“Guilt is born in the same hour with pleasure, like anything in this universe and its enemy.”
At first i thought it was going to be a love story that brought changes to it but nada! The book focuses on 3 women Esi, Opokuya and Fusena and their spouses Oko, Kubi and Ali respectively. Esi is a career oriented woman who has no time for her hubby nor her daughter. Due to her busy schedule she hates been married, been a wife where a woman submits and the only way out is when Oko “rapes”her that she files for a divorce. Freedom, maybe! She falls in love with Ali who on the other hand doesn’t value the Muslim norms (marry a virgin who is a muslim) but introduces her to the family as his second wife but still isn’t getting enough from this marriage too. Fusena, does not get the opportunity to advance her career (children and hubby disagrees since he is rich) while Ali has his way to his education desires. However, Fusena’s shop business is the talk of town as she manages it quit well. Opokuya, a nurse by profession has 4 children, manages her home well enough but Kubi cheats on her frequently (add Esi to his list).
The overall review is that Ama brings out elements of motherhood, marriage, friendship, independence, money and culture in the female autonomy where CHANGE bypasses the old traditions. “It is a record of changing circumstances of women’s lives in contemporary Africa…..constructs a psychological blueprint for female portraiture.” The conversations between women in this book shows a lot of social change and from it, can truly say it is what happens in today’s era. Quite an interesting read that leaves one with lots of questions
This failed to be in my list of memoirs (i literally refused to put it in that folder). Reason being he is too funny and unlike other serious biographies that has got a certain order of events this was one hilarious childhood book read. No wonder he is a comedian. So why born a crime? In a nation where apartheid ruled and two different colors of people could not mingle, his coming to being was illegal/ crime that saw him get bullied, hide while other children played and even get smuggled to see his father who was from Switzerland. Thank his mother’s christian ways that made them attend 3 different churches every Sunday where he got to mingle with various races that challenged his thinking.
Growing up he had it pretty rough but he managed to maneuver by learning all languages in SA that made conversations much easier while reducing racism at the same time. Trevor’s mum was a hyper woman who breached laws where possible to achieve her goals that saw her even work as a secretary in various government offices. Through it, she was able to provide a good upbringing to Noah until Abel became his stepfather and hell broke loose. (Drunk, violent, non-provider, shot Noah’s mum but she survived).
Noah takes a reader through his childhood in an exciting way but he does not dwell onto his success as a comedian or how he even got there. All we know is that he was a good DJ who used to burn CDs and sell out to buses that saw him go out to DJ at parties, and open shop at the hood where he made it big then a radio station took him in and before we know it he was conquering all. His jokes were his way to get along with ladies as he believed he was ugly and not good enough to date but boy, did he screw up so much!