Achebe and Adichie – 50 years apart?

This month (October 2009) members of the Accra Book Club are supposed to finally discuss Chinua Achebe’s seminal work, Things fall apart, with those of us who feel adventurous reading Dambisa Moyo’s controversial assessment of aid, Dead aid.  I re-read Achebe’s book earlier this year, so I just need to quickly refresh my memory, but the Moyo book I have just started, even though I did buy it while on holiday.

Interestingly we are reading two Nigerian authors back to back – so in November 2009 we will discuss Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s collection of short stories, The thing around your neck. I am actually happy and proud to say that the bookshop where I bought it – Vidya’s –  actually had the Nigerian version, put out by Adichie’s Lagos publishers, Farafina, which I thought was doubly appropriate.  It is ironic that we often read African writers who are published in London and New York.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie latest book

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's latest book

I found her stories quite moving, some better than others – obviously, but capturing some of the range that can be termed part of the contemporary Nigerian, or dare I say, African experience, whether in Nigeria, South Africa or in the diaspora.

I also found it doubly appropriate that a colleague sent me a link to the talk which Adichie gave recently for TED.  I really enjoyed it, and passed on the link to others.   It is definitely worth listening to and watching.

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Who wants to read “The lost symbol”?

I did finish Dan Brown’s The lost symbol relatively quickly – that is, in less than a week – which is not too bad, given that there was work to go to, and other matters to deal with, such as traffic while getting to and from work.

Now I need to find someone to pass it on to, and I have to admit that my first couple of attempts haven’t been overly successful!

Maybe I should try members of the Accra Book Club?