Long time, no blog! I was extremely busy back in September and October. I was taking my final Dental exams during those months, but I’m finally free now.
I started this book blog a couple of months before I started Dental school, back in 2014. By God’s grace, I’m finally done and I’m proud to announce that I’m finally a Dentist and no longer a dental student. My childhood dream has been fulfilled and I’m grateful that this book blog, the camaraderie it garnered and my reading habits over the years have helped to sustain me throughout the 6 years of Dental school.
I’m using this time to take it easy for now, while still trying to complete my 2020 reading goal of reading 10 books. Hopefully I can finish up before this hectic year ends.
Below is my mini book review of Zikora: A Short Story by Chimamanda Adichie and some awesome articles I’ve loved since my absence. Enjoy!
Date Read: November 3rd 2020
Published: October 27th 2020
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
The emotional storms weathered by a mother and daughter yield a profound new understanding in a moving short story by the bestselling, award-winning author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists.
When Zikora, a DC lawyer from Nigeria, tells her equally high-powered lover that she’s pregnant, he abandons her. But it’s Zikora’s demanding, self-possessed mother, in town for the birth, who makes Zikora feel like a lonely little girl all over again. Stunned by the speed with which her ideal life fell apart, she turns to reflecting on her mother’s painful past and struggle for dignity. Preparing for motherhood, Zikora begins to see more clearly what her own mother wants for her, for her new baby, and for herself.
Review –★★★★ (4 stars)
I’m glad Chimamanda is back to writing fiction because I was getting tired of her non-fiction pamphlets – Dear Ijeawele and We Should All Be Feminists. Zikora is a short story that’s essentially about womanhood – our loves, our bodies, our minds, our longings, our hurts, our strengths and our weaknesses. Themes such as fraught mother-daughter relationships, ageism, love, motherhood and more are explored in this short story.
I must say – Zikora and Kwame relationship’s demise (this is not a spoiler) had me feeling soooo depressed while reading. How can Kwame disgrace we Ghanaians like this? In true Chimamanda fashion, she adeptly develops the characters through the incorporation of past and present anecdotes, which simultaneously propel this emotional story forward.
In my opinion, Chimamanda isn’t the best short story writer. I wasn’t crazy about her short story collection- The Thing Around Her Neck because the conclusions of the short stories ended way too rudely and abruptly. But she definitely excels as a full-fledged novelist and I hope this Zikora is part of a forthcoming NOVEL! *fingers crossed*
I want more.
★★★★ (4 stars) – Great book. Highly recommend!
Purchase Zikora: A Short Story on Amazon
Below are pieces I found important to read:
4 Nigerian Authors to Read Who Haven’t Been Proudly Transphobic
“We can recognize both Adichie’s talent as a writer and the cultural impact of her work, but her continued unwillingness to unlearn transphobia sullies her legacy and credentials when discussing gender politics. It’s disappointing—but it’s also an opportunity to continue investing in other Nigerian authors asking important questions of the culture and seeking to challenge some of Nigeria’s cultural norms while uplifting stories often relegated to the shadows”
This list is packed with a lot of references to J.K. Rowling and Chimamanda’s dismissal of Trans lives in the recent past. Take the time to read them all, if you can. It’s quite disappointing and I find myself wondering if I should still indulge in Chimamanda’s work… Trans women are WOMEN. Period.
Chinelo Okparanta, Chibundo Onuzo and Akwaeke Emezi and Chike Franke Edozien are the writers listed as actively rejecting transphobia. I’ve read and reviewed 3/4 of these writers!
Toni Morrison Taught Black Women, ‘You Are Your Best Thing’
“Ms. Morrison’s work had the courage to confront the U.S.’s historical amnesia of systemic violence and marginalization of Black folks in a nuanced and inevitably intersectional way by finding the balance between portraying intergenerational trauma and radical healing among Black American women in historically White American literary traditions”
Black Lives Matter, grandma and me: how our world changed during lockdown
“After months apart, Jade Bentil was reunited with her grandmother, in time to see the BLM protests unfold. She reflects on a history of repression”
This is a long read, but I really like Jade’s writing (and her tweets!) and look forward to her debut Rebel Citizen, out in 2022.
Beyoncé and the Heart of Darkness
“Few black thinkers and creatives in the United States seem able to grapple with the implications of their Americocentrism in relation to Africa”
Sharmaine Lovegrove: ‘You must spend a year in a bookshop before you get a job in publishing’
“Seeing the transformative experience of reading on customers’ faces is magic”
This piece by Lovegrove is short and sweet. But I couldn’t help but wonder if African readers on the continent of Africa were also part of the demographic she was writing about…
A Litany for Survival by Naomi Jackson
“Giving birth as a black woman in America”
Whew! I left the best piece for last. I’m not new to Jackson’s work as I read, enjoyed and reviewed Naomi Jackson’s debut – The Star Side of Bird Hill, about 4 years ago. This piece is deeply heart-wrenching and it was beautifully written! Jackson held nothing back in this piece and I respect her a lot for this, even though it heightened my anxiety with regards to childbirth, significantly.