Reviews of

African literature

“It’s difficult to be a good writer”. A literary review of AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (3) of (3)

Americanah

Being born black can be very hard, and while there are quite a few nuances, different levels and social classes within the black world, the difficulty of progressing always seems to be lurking in the shadows, independent of social status. With regard to this, the book will say that in a country such as Nigeria…

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“Is Chimamanda a writer or a sociologist?” Literary review of AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2) of (3)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nonetheless, there are also a series of characters that are respectably accomplished. This is the case of Blaine, Ifem’s smart boyfriend, through whom we sharply assess his drivel and pedantry for an excruciating level of perfection. The character of Ifem’s aunt and her corrupt partner are also adequately developed, as is the teenage presence of…

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“Plenty of intelligence, little literature”. Literary review of AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (1) of (3)

Americanah

Americanah is the story of Ifemelu, a Nigerian girl who decides to leave her country for a period of time, to go and study in the United States in search of a better life. After some time, she returns to Nigeria full of all types of experiences. The two journeys differ greatly. In Nigeria, Ifemelu…

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“Have things changed in Liberia or not?”. A literary review of BLUE CLAY PEOPLE by William Powers (3) of (3)

For those who have lived and worked in Liberia, or for those who are doing so at present, Blue Clay People will seem very close to home and familiar. Many expats (and also a good handful of Liberians) can see themselves in the character of Powers, his thoughts and his experiences will be theirs. Powers…

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“Liberia or my girlfriend?” A literary review of BLUE CLAY PEOPLE by William Powers (2) of (3)

Blue Clay People

Despite a number of negative consequences, Powers also discovers that these same development projects are sometimes capable of providing real help and happiness to local communities. William discovers this by delving deeper into Liberian society, which in turn will allow him to discover various fundamental patterns of this culture such as the importance of the…

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MANY THINGS STILL HAVE TO CHANGE. Literary review of Ayi Kweih Armah’s ‘The Beautyful ones are not yet born’ (3) of (3)

thebeautyfulonesarenotyetborn

This novel also considers how most utopian dreams of liberation in the recently independent Africa of the 1960s came crumbling down. Like many other revolutionary dreams, they wound up in nothing, including the revolutions lead by Fidel Castro and Mao Tse-Tung: a void left behind by new purportedly socialist parties, only adding to the disappointment.…

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TO STEAL OR NOT TO STEAL Literary review of Ayi Kweih Armah’s, ‘The Beautyful ones are not yet born’ (2) of (3)

Ayi-Kwei-Armah

Regarding the novel’s title, one wonders why beautyful and not beautiful? It seems probable that this has been a slip in the English spelling, which is not uncommon in Africa. In fact, in Ghana the main language is Twi and English is not as fluent as one could expect. It would not be unreasonable to…

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WHEN DID GHANA GO TO THE DOGS? Literary review of Ayi Kweih Armah’s, The Beautyful ones are not yet born (1) of (3)

Ayi-Kweih-Armah

The Beautyful ones are not yet born by Ayi-Kweih-Armah is a novel that tells the story of a railway traffic control clerk in Ghana, who is disenchanted with life and the course of events in his country. The main character remains nameless, as Armah simply refers to him as ‘the man”. He feels very lonely and misunderstood…

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THE FIRST WRITER OF GENIUS TO COME OUT OF AFRICA. Literary review of Camara Laye’s ‘The African Child’

The African Child is not strictly speaking a novel, but rather an autobiography of a young teenage boy called Camara Laye. Laye is a Malinké Muslim from Guinea (Guinea-Conakry) who is growing up at home with his family. His father is the local blacksmith. His mother is a housewife. Their house is crowded with extended…

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