Friday, September 17, 2010

The Short Story Genre: Chimamanda and Uwem in The New Yorker

Adichie, in TNY
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus and The Thing Around Your Neck, has published a short story in The New Yorker titled Birdsong. Follow this link to read so that we can discuss in the comment box.

Also, in January of this year, Uwem Akpan, author of the dystopian short story collection, Say You're One of Them, an Oprah Book Club selection, published another short story in The New Yorker titled Baptizing the Gun. Read this piece and let me know what you think. Follow the link here.

16 comments:

  1. Both good stories, though I can't help but enjoy Adichie's more :) I also enjoyed Akpan's more than I thought I would - the ending was really great.

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  2. Chimamanda's story spawned a huge discussion on my FB page about Feminist issues. It is obviously more than that. I loved how she used the flasback and tied everything together. The setting was also very much a part of the story.

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  3. @Amy Thanks Amy. I also enjoyed Adichie's but I thought there were a lot that was left unsaid. Some say it is the result of advanced writing techniques.

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  4. @Myne yes, the use of flashback was beautiful and it made the work interesting. What about the gaps?

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  5. Infact, Adichie has a way of making you laugh. There are traces of funny bits in the story. I enjoyed it but...(hmmm!) Fredua you have a good point oo!

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  6. @Geoffrey... yes. There are places you can't help but to laugh. She really is good. However, I wonder if there would be another book (by her, of course) that would surpass Half of a Yellow Sun.

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  7. Fredua, trust me; Adichie will come out with something greater than Half of a Yellow Sun. Here is my reason: having been awarded the Genius award of $500,000 dollars over five years, I think she can decide to stay home without ever thinking about money and then write and write and write. Writing gets better when you don't have so many things to worry about. What do you think?

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  8. Yes, I liked the sparsity of it too though Nana. And I think she will come out with another incredible novel soon. At least I hope so :) I might actually have the chance to see her at a book fair in Texas - I'm not at all close to there, but might be semi close for a work trip the week after, so am seriously considering stopping there on my way! Trying not to get my hopes up too high though just in case.

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  9. @Geoffrey, hardly are novelist able to better that which made them popular. That is one. Two, reading You Must Set Forth at Dawn, Wole Soyinka said the years immediately after the Nobel was not productive. Finally, most people's works are produced when they are young (not all though). But the idea of writing getting better with age is to me fiction. If you are young, you allow yourself to write things that make life interesting. However, getting old I begin to think that the good things are those that are twisted. Besides, having passed through life we lose a lot of the fun and begin to write things as 'serious'.

    But we cannot challenge her. It is possible that she would come out with something great. However, I didn't enjoy The Thing Around Your Neck as much as I enjoyed the longer stories. They seemed to have bits and pieces of all her novels.

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  10. @Amy. I also hope so. Hope you get to meet her. One advantage of the gaps or the paucity with information is that it keeps us asking questions. thus, the story stays with you trying to devise reasons for the 'breakup'. So it somehow achieves its objectives.

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  11. Yes Nana. I did find the character and her reactions to things very believable too though. How she stayed so long, why she left when she did, etc.

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  12. @ Fredua: I have heard many critics talk about those arguments you've put forward. We cannot but to hope that she does not fall prey to all those negatives or setbacks that befall famous writers like nobellas, pulitzers, etc

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  13. @Fredua: I certainly believe that Adichie uses her short stories as preparatory grounds for her novels. There is more to watch out from her recent short stories that are coming out. Perhaps they could posses hints of what her next novel would look like. However, I liked Cell One and Jumping Monkey Hill.

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  14. @ Amy: I also hope that you pass by.

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  15. @Geoffrey... Let's just hope. We can only hope. I also like the one that seems to continue the story of Okonkwo. It was seamless.

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