April in Review, Projections for May
Traffic received by this blog in April was relatively low compared to the last three months, though I don't trust blogger's stats tab where number of times a page has been viewed keep decreasing. In terms of reading I read five novels with a total of 920 pages on a variety of genres: biography/autobiography, poetry and full-length novels. On the interview front, I interviewed no one. Or specifically I did not receive responses from some of the interview I sent out. The following are the books read and the links to them:
- Mine Boy by Peter Abrahams. I read this book for the Top 100 Reading Challenge. A very interesting novel that vividly projects the plight of native South Africans right before the official institution of apartheid. We observe the struggle of the natives and what they have to fight against daily to survive through the eyes of a rural-urban emigre, Xuma.
- Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas. This was read for the Africa Reading Challenge. This novel tells of the state and plight of women in a patriarchal traditional village of Namibia. The issues of property disinheritance, widowhood rites/mistreatments, the status of women in marriage and domestic abuse.
- Accra! Accra! More Poems about Modern Afrikans by Papa Kobina Ulzen. The second poetry anthology I have reviewed for this year. I enjoyed the varied, but closely knit, themes and the import of the anthology. The poems were simple and easy to understand but then sends deeper messages to those who would listen to its admonishments.
- The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa. Read for the Africa Reading Challenge, this is a uniquely told story. Narrated by a unique wall gecko, who shares dreams with the owner of the house - Felix Ventura - in the first person. Through this novel, we observe a state that is just emerging from a 25-year civil war and the changes that occur. Both individuals who committed crimes and the victims want to reshape their past and move ahead. And this is where Felix comes in. He sells memories to those who need it, reconstructing peoples past to suit their present position and their future aspiration. And interesting novel.
- Fela, This Bitch of a Life by Carlos Moore. This biography cum autobiography by and for Fela is yet to be reviewed. However, it tells of the life of a great musical icon of world fame who lived his life fighting corruption in his country, Nigeria. Consequently, he became public enemy number one by both military and civilian governments. He was beaten, broken, battered, and betrayed by the very people he set out to protect. Yet, he never gave up. In the end he died in cold penury with his ideas intact and his fight still continues. Now Fela is a big name in the world of music. Unlike Bob Marley and James Brown who used euphemisms and metaphors to fight the political elite, Fela mentioned names calling soldiers zombies who would do nothing until they are told. (Review coming up soon)
May would be an extremely slow month. I would be hitting the field on a data collection exercise. However, I would schedule all my postings when I get the time in order not to starve my readers. May might be a month of diverse readings. Because I would be in the field, I would love to read books that are more interesting and not necessarily be on the list of challenges.