Bite-size Review: Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe

Achebe, often deemed as The Godfather of all written African literature in English, in his exceptional and timeless classic beckons the reader to question and reason with the “conquered” history of Africans. Achebe vividly paints personal family recollections to deconstruct the colonial governance of the fictional Nigerian Igbo village, Umuofia, transposing this deconstruction to the rest of Anglophone African countries. Things Fall Apart examines how the British colonial administration and religious imposition threatens the harmonious customs and tradition of the Umuofian people. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe”

Bite-size Review: Americanah | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Americanah | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I must admit that before reading this novel I was originally sceptical due to my neutral fence against the ‘Chimamanda’ hype. Nonetheless, this book surprised me, and not just the good, gentle, ‘take your breath away’ kind of surprise, but the ‘oh-my-dear-God-did-she-really-just-write-this-I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-reading-somebody-slap-me-I’m-in-book-heaven’ kind of surprise. And I loved every moment – until the last quarter (we will come back to this). Americanah shares a story of two teenage lovers: Ifemelu and Obinze. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Americanah | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”

Bite-size Review: Wrath of the Ancestors | A.C Jordan

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The Wrath of the Ancestors | A C Jordan

Once you open the first page, you’re transported to the heart of the Mpondomise region, camping around a blazing fire, wrapped in ochre blankets and enraptured by the storytelling performance. And in this performance, Jordan tells a tragic-fatalistic story about Zwelinzima, a missionary educated Xhosa prince, who reluctantly leaves university to take his rightful place as Chief of the Mpondomise. His inauguration fuels a clash of cultures and moralistic values between Mpondomise customs and beliefs against European civilisation and Christianity. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Wrath of the Ancestors | A.C Jordan”

Bite-size Review: The Famished Road | Ben Okri

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The Famished Road | Ben Okri

1991 Booker Prize winner and that is of no surprise. Okri weaves a world where the physics of reality and spirituality intertwine, imposing an imaginary vertigo on the reader. This is a colourful novel with animated characters and a palpable presence. As you read, the interwined physical and spiritual worlds morph into a life of its own. You can visualise the decrepit roads, smelly gutters, poverty-stricken one-room apartments and petrol polluted air alongside the extraterrestrial, airy, kaleidoscopic, and imaginative spiritual realm. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Famished Road | Ben Okri”

Bite-size Review: The Collector Of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales | Bessie Head

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The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales | Bessie Head

The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales is a powerful collection of stories that centres on societal issues and human nature in a specifically African context. They are about the day to day lives and experiences that people go through in the midst of newly attained ‘independence’; issues such as power, sexuality, justice, tradition and modernity arise in a diverse yet interrelated range of ways that show how skilfully Head has gauged the relationship and connections the stories have with one another. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Collector Of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales | Bessie Head”

Bite-size Review: No Sweetness Here | Ama Ata Aidoo

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No Sweetness Here | Ama Ata Aidoo

And there really isn’t! In this collection of eleven short stories, Aidoo explores a newly independent Ghana during its season of nominal “progress” and “freedom” to reveal through her characters’ conversations the true depth of national divide. Within social conversations (community chatter and clandestine dialogues) Aidoo creates a rhythmic uproar of witty, pious, condemning, bewildering, cunning and entertaining voices throughout each story. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: No Sweetness Here | Ama Ata Aidoo”