Archive for July, 2012

All Things Chima.

Chima. That is how I call the gem that is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I know. I call her as if I have known her my whole life. But that is how I feel about her. She is like a big sister to me and her books are like letters of inspiration. When reading her books I feel like the little sister who has been handed some of her big sister’s jewelry and makeup and is in awe at their power to transform.

I discovered her back in 2011 when I read “The thing around your neck”. I liked two of the stories in that collection but I was not very moved by the other ones. As such I could not remember what the other stories were about without glancing through the book.

And then last month I read “Purple Hibiscus” and “Half of a Yellow Sun”. Obtaining those books was an interesting trip to the book store which I blog about in a later post.

I like the way Chimamanda uses description in her books. Instead of making the book tedious to read, like extensive description usually does, the descriptive phrases in her novels make her characters come alive. It makes it so easy to visualize the place, the people. It is almost like reading a book in 3D.

“Nnamabia looked so much like my mother. With that honey fair complexion, large eyes, and a generous mouth that curved perfectly.” From the short story Cell One

I like the way Chima has drawn from her childhood to make her stories believable. Nsukka is the place where she grew up. I guess her parents were a little bit of the strict but doting parents described in Cell One. I guess she must have known families where some sons were truant or where some fathers where a little bit too strict.

Sometimes I wonder if she would be able to tell another kind of story.  If she would be able to get away from the middle class, university professor setting and venture into Okada drivers in Lagos, the power circle of business and politics. But then again; maybe that is not her story to tell.  Thank you, Chima, for telling your own stories so well.

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