Long time no travel!

Can you tell I’m craving movement? Both literally and not. Gotta make do with these for now though. Let’s jump in!

– Getting right into the heavy stuff, this account told by a man about he and his wife’s struggle to get pregnant broke my heart.

– Are you in a quiet relationship? No drama, no shouting, just lots of silence and peaceful resolutions? This woman’s story is about how that broke up her marriage.

– E. Iduma has written about an archived photograph of a Nigerian woman being delivered from witchcraft in his Trans-African essay this month.

Will a man ever look at a woman’s body guiltless of all the ways women’s bodies have been looked at and held by men? Looking at this photograph, I want to listen to women teach me how to see them. Where to look at? How to keep my gaze both desirous and free of control? How the eye is not merely an organ of desire—but something less assertive of its power, something embarrassed by the knowledge of ways men prey on women.

He’s also traveling with Invisible Borders (a group of  artists traveling through several Nigerian cites in 46 days). I am really excited about the work they will be putting out after the trip but lucky, we get to see some short features on the blog during the trip. I especially enjoyed Uche’s essay on Asaba, Elo’s incident in Warri and Yinka’s musings on movement.

– In Nicole Cliffe’s (of The Toast, which is closing down soon) story of her interesting conversation to Christianity, she made a reference to this story of a woman whose boyfriend had been killed in the 1966 University of Texas Tower shooting—the first of its kind. She was critically wounded and this is the story of ‘how a bullet changed a life path’.

– Ah, Elena Ferrante. I have been falling across such profound interviews given by this woman (Elena is a pen name, btw). First, this one where she said on writing being an act of pride:

Writing is an act of pride. I’ve always known that, and so for a long time I hid the fact that I was writing, especially from the people I loved. I was afraid of exposing myself and of others’ disapproval. …you’re ashamed of your presumptuousness, because there is nothing that can justify it, not even success. …the fact remains that I have assumed the right to imprison others in what I seem to see, feel, think, imagine, and know. …Who called on me, who assigned me that task and that mission? A god? A people? A social class? A party? The culture industry? The lowly, the disinherited, the lost causes? …No—by now it’s blindingly obvious that I alone authorized myself. I assigned myself, for motives that are obscure even to me, the job of describing what I know of my era, that is—in its simplest form—what happened under my nose, that is to say the life, the dreams, the fantasies, the languages of a narrow group of people and events, within a restricted space, in an unimportant language made even less important by the use I make of it.

And then her Art of Fiction interview. She fascinates me. I have started reading her books just so I can re-read these interviews with more insight. I’m currently on My Brilliant Friend.

– It was good to read this. I enjoyed the writing of it, but it was also eye-opening and heartbreaking to read the experience of someone who was (stuck?) in Liberia during the ebola outbreak.

– In fiction,

  1. I enjoyed Black Milk, it’s the winning entry from the Pacific for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
  2. Lesley Nneka Arimah, who’s a fave, has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize this year. If you haven’t read, here’s her entry that I really loved. Bonus: here’s a ‘5 questions’ she did with Catapult.
  3. Han Kang’s The Fruit of My Woman is such an excellent story. And it was only after I read this that I finally read Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
  4. Wole Talabi’s in Lightspeed Magazine! Here’s his story, Wednesday’s Story. Ever heard of Solomon Grundy? Then you want to read this one.

– I‘ve written about how well Feyi Fawehinmi writes before. Here’s something else he’s written about the mess Nigeria is that proves it again. You should check out all his articles on Medium.

– Yewande Omotoso wrote about learning Yoruba. Although I haven’t mastered the language yet, I related so much with this. Also, I can’t wait to read her new book!

This was funny.

That’s a lot already, so I’ll close with this lovely video of these guy buddies being so refreshingly open and affectionate with each other. (You should totally check out the whole project.)

What are you reading?

Till soon!

‘P.

Written by Nik-Nak