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:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What have you finished reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What are you currently reading?

Despite my heavy schedule these past few weeks, I am glad to say that I am making great progress with my March African Literature Month, which has already transported me to Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria. For my seventh book this month, I am immersing in a work by Nobel Laureate in Literature, Wole Soyinka. Aké: The Years of Childhood is my first memoir in over a year; the last was Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. This is also my first work by the aforementioned Nobel winner, who happens to be the first African to receive the accolade. As the title suggests, it is the author’s recollection of his childhood in the Yoruban village of Aké. I am halfway done and I am enjoying it so far. The young Wole is insightful and observant of the things happening around him. On the background, he paints a vivid picture of the Nigerian countryside. This made me want to read Soyinka’s fiction works. I just learned that most of his works are essays, poetry collections, and memoirs. That is something I have to consider.

What have you finished reading?

After a one-book week last week, I managed to complete two books again this past week. The first book I completed was Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood. Set in pre-World War II Nigeria, it charts the story of Nnu Ego, the daughter of Nwokocha Agbadi, a proud and affluent local chief and his mistress, Ona. Like the typical African young woman, she was raised in the traditions of Igbo childrearing. She was made to believe that conceiving and birthing male children is the ultimate definition of being a woman. Emecheta crafted an elaborate story about motherhood juxtaposed on a lush sociological backdrop. Nnu Ego was a complex character whose story resonates even in the contemporary. Whilst there was little joy in The Joys of Motherhood, it was a vivid diagnosis of society’s view on motherhood and the definition of being a woman.

From Nigeria, I next proceeded to Egypt with another Nobel Prize in Literature winner. The Thief and the Dogs was my second novel written Naguib Mahfouz. The novel chronicles the life of the newly-freed Said Mahran who walked out of jail after four years of being incarcerated. What we found out after obtaining his freedom shocked him beyond belief. His daughter, Sana, rejected him. His wife, Nabawiyya, who used to be the center of his world, married his friend Illish who betrayed him. His former mentor, Rauf Ilwan, drastically changed. Everything Said used to fight for disappointed him. Employing streams-of-consciousness, The Thief and the Dogs was a quick-paced but suspenseful read. How I wish it was longer.

What will you read next?

I am looking to close March with two more short books. The first one is Cry, the Beloved Country which is a story set in South Africa written by novelist and anti-apartheid activist Alan Paton. I bought the novel in late 2018 and I hope that, on top of Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter, it will help boost my understanding of South Africa. The second novel I am looking forward to is a recent purchase, Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation. Iweala is a new discovery and, to my surprise or perhaps not, I just learned that he is of Nigerian origin. Nigerian writers have certainly earned a fan in me.

Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!