Showing posts from November, 2009

26. "Incidents at the Shrine" by Ben Okri

Title: Incidents at the Shrine Author: Ben Okri Genre: Short Stories Publishers: Vintage Pages: 136 Year of First Publication: 1986 (this edition, 1993) Country: Nigeria Incidents at the Shrine is a collection of eight short stories by Ben Okri, the 1991 Booker Prize winner (with Famished Road). These eight short stories touch on different aspects of life within Nigeria and in the World at large. Though the stories are varied, a common theme threading through this novel is the magical reality that underlies Okri's writing. In 'Laughter Beneath the Bridge', the Biafran war is told from the viewpoint of a ten year old boy. If it had never occurred to you that wars could also affect the emotional life of younger children then read this short piece. Children and women had most often being cited as the victims of war but the emphasis has mostly been placed  on their geographical and psychological dislocation. However, this short piece tells of how this ten-y

25. "In the Heart of the Country" by J.M. Coetzee

Title: In the Heart of the Country Author: J.M. Coetzee Genre: Novel (Dystopian, Lust, Murder) Publishers: Vintage Pages: 151 Year of First Publication: 1977 (this edition, 2004) Country: South Africa "Today my father brought home his new bride." This is the sentence that set the novel, In the Heart of the Country, in motion and around which every deed in the novel revolves. Set in one of South Africa's remote farming communities, the novel, written in the first person's narrative style and in the present tense and set in the form of journal entries with numbered paragraphs, tells the story of how an old and psychotic virgin, Magda, killed her father and her father's black mistress, Klein-Anna, whom she describes as the new bride, but who in actuality was the wife of Magda's father's servant, Hendrik. In the novel, Magda writes of killing her father in two very different scenarios. In the first scenario, she kills her father together with

The Wall

It fell Because there was no base Because the top was too heavy It fell Because what we see do not matter It is what we do not see that matters most It fell Because it was neither built In our hearts nor in our minds It fell Because it was not there Because it was a phantom of a wall copyright 2007 by Nana Fredua-Agyeman

24. Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills

Title: Cloth Girl Author: Marilyn Heward Mills Publishers: Cassava Republic Genre: Novel (Love, Tradition, Life) Pages: 371 Year of First Publication: 2006 (this edition, 2008) Country: Ghana Set in the Gold Coast between 1937 and 1952, Cloth Girl is a story about love, distress, heartbreaks and regrets. Cloth Girl is a story about a fourteen-year old girl trapped in a polygamous marriage for which tradition and convention demand that she remains silence and counts her marriage as a blessing, for what a woman should expect from marriage is not love, but children and a husband to take care of her children. Seizing their chance to be associated with the prominent Bannerman family, the Lamptey family accepted  marriage proposal from Lawyer Bannerman for fourteen year old Matilda. At such a young age and being a woman, Matilda did not have a say in her marriage, though it concerned her life. However, Matilda, who was to become a second wife to this prominent Gold Coast l


we die twice: when we are dead and when we finally die! Over the horizon… Harbinger hoppers of damnable doom Darken the sank-sun heavens The green-earth shrivels into ashes Fallow feast of fire Embalms our grasshouse in teary wool Explosions in our cooking pots Our fireplace goes raining And survivalist vultures swirl In a satisfying dinner dance Human hearts in scavenging jaws; Death harvesters With scrotum eyes In rage’s mortal companionship Define the shrine for our spice-sacrifice The storms feast from our foundering boat The mother-toad’s spawned eggs Feed the hatching fishes; One-third, one-half, one All buried beneath a black earthen boil To produce tasteless tubers— Human humus post-humously honoured In yield to kiss spectral lips …those cowries Two to keep our eyes open Four for the barrel to shatter our hearts …and our hearts are shattered …and our eyes closed Our hollow ribs blow death’s deep horn Our horrible deaths dribble the soulless Horn. (As seen th