Jungfrau is this book i was reading… Its a compilation of short stories for the Caine prize for African writing and its one of the best books i have read in a while. I would suggest that anyone who is inspired by great writing should read it… I love African writing… from the days of ‘Things fall apart’ by Chinua Achebe and the ‘ The river between’ by Ngugi wa Thiongo to things more recent such as ‘Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and ‘The infidel’ by Ayan Hirsi Ali which i have mentioned several times before, African writing inspires me. I remember when i was still in Kenya i liked talking about the intellectual societies in Africa [here is an instance] and i was always emphasizing on how well people spoke and wrote, of course back then i was very naive and i had no idea what i was talking about, but looking back its great works like these that made me think that an intellectual societies had to exist, after all with so many great minds in Africa there had to be some sort of outlet or channel through which they would get to express their ideas.

Now maybe its just me but doesn’t it seem like the best writing or perhaps the most outstanding books come from every where but America? I have always wondered about that… is it perhaps that school systems in third world countries are more rigorous than school systems here? Is it because we read more? Is it because our native languages have more expression so that challenges us to string words together more fluidly? Im sure alot of people will not agree with me, but to me it seems to me like this is true… Look at books like ‘Brother im dying’ by Edwidge Danticat from Cuba or ‘Kiffe Kiffe tomorrow’ by Faiza Guene from France… all these are exemplary examples of contemporary, well written books from elsewhere [not America]…but then again i am biased when you stay here for long enough you start looking for anything that reminds you of Africa…

I am seriously considering writing a book but i have no idea where to start so if you guys have any ideas let me know… Otherwise feel free to show me Examples of good writing from America, i am talking about fiction here of course but along the lines of the books mentioned above…I beg you to challenge me! Of course, if you have any other great reads that you would like to share let me know, Im always a sucker for a good read…


3 thoughts on “Books

  1. I’ll be honest, I havent read in a minute but there are great American classics like Grapes of Wrath and such. But I am sure if I look around I know there are some latter day American classic intellects. It’s just the crap that rises to the top usually.

  2. True, there are indeed classics of American writing. Grapes of Wrath like Aco says. Or Moby Dick from Herman Melville. The writings of Thoreau, Mark Twain, and others like them. But today, again as Aco says, the bad stuff is what we see most of. What gets airtime on Oprah is what will be touted as the next great American Novel. When in actual fact it leaves little to the imagination! Most of what you see doesn’t want to use the deep beauty of language, and instead prefers to dumb things down, almost like they are replicating tv in a book. They don’t want the reader to exert too much effort! Which is part of the pleasure of reading.

  3. See thats exactly what im saying…i have read most American classics out there and the language was indeed beautiful…but then what happened? I think American writing is almost like American hip hop…what sells is what produced by big producers…small talent hardly ever gets recognized.

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