Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope everyone is having a great midweek. Wednesdays also mean WWW Wednesday update. WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme originally hosted by SAM@TAKING ON A WORLD OF WORDS. The mechanics for WWW Wednesday is quite simple, you just have to answer three questions:
- What are you currently reading?
- What have you finished reading?
- What will you read next?
What are you currently reading?
Marching on with my March African Literature Month. I am currently traveling to Nigeria for the second time this month with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. This is my second venture into the works of famed feminist Adichie. I loved Half of a Yellow Sun for its delicate handling of a seminal subjects – war and history. In her 2013 novel, Americanah, she grapples on with new subjects and themes. The novel commenced with Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman who immigrated to the United States. She was studying at Princeton but after fifteen years of living abroad, she finally decided to go back to her hometown to settle permanently. The novel then shifted to the past as the novel tackled Ifemelu’s earlier life. Nigerian writers have a distinct voice but compared to other Nigerian works I have previously read, I find Adichie’s prose firmer. Because also of my previous experiences with other Nigerian writers, I am starting to settle in the story, encountering several references to its culture and society. I am loving the experience so far. I hope it sustains my interest until the end.
What have you finished reading?
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was my first ever novel written by a Nigerian author. It has certainly piqued my interest, especially after uncovering several elements of Nigerian culture that reflect some of my own. It has been nearly five years since I last read it and with the hopes of understanding more of his prose, I next read Anthills of the Savannah. Compared to Things Fall Apart, Anthills of the Savannah has more political color as it detailed the political atmosphere of the fictional West African nation of Kangan where a former Sandhurst graduate is lording over as the president for life. Achebe’s storytelling, as always, was compelling. However, I wasn’t as drawn into the story as I thought I would be. I nonetheless appreciated how he explored the timeless and seminal subjects of dictatorship, censorship, and authoritarian regimes.
From one political novel to another political novel, I have realized that Africa does have a long history of tumultuous political atmosphere. Burger’s Daughter is my first time immersing into the works of South African novelist and 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Nadine Gordimer. The novel chronicles the story of Rosa Burger, the titular Burger’s Daughter. Her father, Lionel Burger, was a white Afrikaner anti-apartheid activist who passed away in prison while serving a life sentence for treason. I have to admire and commend Nordimer for tackling a difficult subject – the role of white South Africans in the struggle to rid the nation of the apartheid. The novel was rich in details but I wasn’t invested in Rosa. The novel’s narrative structure contributed in this less than stellar experience.
What will you read next?
Naguib Mahfouz was another African Nobel Laureate in Literature. It has also been over four years since I last read my first Mahfouz novel, Miramar. I am still not delving into the Cairo Trilogy for I am one book short (the last book). However, I have a standalone book that I hope would remind me of Mahfouz’s narrative. I am kind of expecting some political undertones in the novel. Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood is another fairly recent purchase. I bought it even though I barely had any iota on who Emecheta was nor have I encountered any of her works before. Relying on the positive response in Goodreads, I am hoping it will give me further insights into Nigerian culture.
Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!