Apparently this book is funny! I’m excited about that. I’m doing better with things that are both funny and true these days than with things that are just true. (Hi, Wonkette.) I’ll let you know how it goes.
I finished Negroland. I didn’t really connect with it. I already wrote about a lot of reasons that could be, and here’s one final possibility: some of the characteristics Jefferson identifies in herself– a tendency toward melancholy or depression, self-indulgence, an insistence on impeccability that borders on self-destructive– are characteristics I share. It’s a bit painful to watch another person walk through… Continue reading Negroland: 3
I just got that I’m also alienated from this book by a generation. Jefferson does not trouble herself to be relatable to people who don’t immediately relate– she doesn’t center me in any way, which we already know from Between the World and Me I find tricky– and that includes cultural references. Negroland is full of names… Continue reading Negroland: 2
I am having such a hard time with Negroland, you guys. I keep putting it down. I don’t know what my problem is. It’s well reviewed by people I respect a lot. Roxane Gay says it’s “searing.” I just cannot connect easily with the language or with the stories. They are so, so far from my… Continue reading Negroland: 1
I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising that I felt like I was reading a foreign language. Some of Adichie’s characters speak Igbo. (Obi ocha, “clean heart,” is a terrific way to describe Barack Obama.) Some of the foreign feeling certainly came from my unknowing of Nigeria: I’ve only heard “Naija” from Awesomely Luvvie, and I just… Continue reading Americanah: 2
I posted on facebook that I was starting this book in celebration of International Women’s Day. A friend saw my post, said she never finished it, and suggested we read it together remotely. We set a page goal for the evening. (I still haven’t met it three days later, but hey. Tomorrow is another day.) Until her reply,… Continue reading Americanah: 1
Oof. This one was unsettling. It was also, again, dazzling: family, skin color, sisters, fairy tales, snakes, gender, generations. Here are a few passages, so you might get a sense of the range: “Where does character come into it? Just this: I’ve always been pretty sure I could kill someone if I had to. Myself,… Continue reading Boy, Snow, Bird: 3