This month is a double whammy for women. On the 8th we had International Women’s Day and today we are celebrating Mothers Day. So,in honour of all those wonderful and special women, I recommend these books of short stories written by women,
Initially, I was not a fan of short stories. I was of the opinion there was not a lot of flesh to get your teeth into. However, after venturing, I have now come to realise that there are some benefits to short stories. These include the fact that they can be read in a sitting: its a convenient way to try new authors and genres and it engages the reader quickly.
So, here are the short story collections I think you should all add to your reading list.
Rotten Row, Petrina Gappah
The majority of Gappahs stories are based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Gappah has a creative technique in which she interweaves her characters so that even though they are individual stories , you get that subtle link between all the stories.
Interpreter of the Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
This book was fortunate to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000. Every time I come across the word ‘Maladies’ it takes me back to this book. My attraction to Lahiri came after watching the film, based on her novel, ‘The Namesake’. In the Interpreter of the Maladies Lahiri bases her stories around Indian immigrants experience in America. This Indian Immigrant narrative is can be compared to the African Immigrant in America. This is portrayed in my next choice.
That Thing Around your Neck, Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie
Not all of Adichies short stories are based in America. However, the ones which are, give the Nigerian Immigrants story.
One of the stories based in Nigeria which always come to remembrance is ‘A Private Experience‘. In this story two ladies, one Muslim and one Christian find refuge in an abandoned shop. And, despite an on-going riot between Muslims and Christians, they are friendly and peaceful to one another.
Naija Love Stories , Ola Awonubi
My close friend wrote this book and it is a good read. It is a collection of stories all based around love. It is based on the backdrop of Nigeria and concentrates on the various ways the characters perceive the concept of love.
New Daughters of Africa,Edited by Margaret Busby
Even though I have not read this book, I could not omit it from this list as it is most definitely on my reading list. To be more specific it’s on my purchase list. This book is so large so it would be much wiser to own a copy. It is over 600 pages long and is an anthology of words and writings by women of African descent. Margaret Busby has edited two collections of writings. The first one, published in 1992 is Daughters of Africa and through merely glancing at the table of contents it is evident as to how Busby has widely spread her literary tentacles. Not one of the contributors in the 1992 anthology are present in the 2019 anthology. This goes to show how much female African talent is out there.
So, lets not put all this literary talent to waste. Lets get reading.