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Grundlagen und Verfahren buch von Dieter Kohtz. If states make suspicious categories for art, continents are closer to useless. Taiwo is an incredible scholar. Download The Tempted Soul: This story begins with Kweku's fatal heart attack in Ghana in his fifties.
There's noo need to explain.
Not a gripe, just saying. And actually, I didn't like the language. It's described as glittering and poetic and all that, but mostly I found it jerky, spiky, prickly, bucking along like a square wheeled wagon.
The cadences all the same, sentences running on, with piled up short phrases, separated by commas, and then, tripping, stumbling, and often interrupted by parentheses ones that serve to confuse but also to add in layers a couple of choppy sentences at the end.
Without subject. Like this. Which can be effective. But not all the time. Sometimes you need a change of pace. This book won't let me go will it? The title: A 'Ghana Must Go' designates that ubiquitous light plastic carry-all bag that is used by immigrants all over the world.
The name comes from the series of expulsions of mainly Ghanaian nationals from Nigeria especially in the 80s, when illegal immigrants were given no more than two weeks to pack up and leave, hastily packing their possessions into these cheap, lightweight bags.
In such a bag, Kweku's slippers are returned to Fola, his first wife: It was what we knew. Immigrants leave. View all 22 comments. Apr 01, Chad Walker rated it really liked it Shelves: About 10 years ago, I spent months teaching English in a tiny Ghanaian village electricity only in two or three houses, no running water in the heart of the Ashanti region.
I realize that a this does not make me an expert on Ghana, and b is not a particularly unique experience; however, it does mean that I have a very soft spot in my heart for Ghana. After reading the blurb on this, and reading about the author's backstory after seeing her short story in last year's Best American, I was About 10 years ago, I spent months teaching English in a tiny Ghanaian village electricity only in two or three houses, no running water in the heart of the Ashanti region.
After reading the blurb on this, and reading about the author's backstory after seeing her short story in last year's Best American, I was excited to dig into this one.
Honestly, I finished it a few days ago, and I've been struggling with what I thought about it. For about the first 50 pages, I vacillated a lot in my opinion of Selasi's writing - stylistically speaking. It's very impressionistic, very poetic, and has a lot of beautiful sentences, but I also thought she had quite a few annoying tics the one word paragraph, the redundant proliferation of several phrases to describe one thing when one would do just as nicely, etc. Also, for a novel that is primarily about how a family breaks apart over time and their struggles to come back together , and in which very little in the present time actually happens, I thought some of the backstory seemed a little farfetched and overly melodramatic especially the storyline with the twins- not that it couldn't happen, but couldn't something a little less over the top have happened to drive them apart?
The sensational nature of what happened to the twins made it difficult for me to stay with them as real characters rather than caricatures, moreso than I did with the moments between Sadie and Fola, Kehinde and Kweku, or Olu and all of them. But - and it's a big one - I'm giving it four stars. Because my two most important reading criteria are: It might be a little early to tell for 2, but I haven't stopped thinking it over since I finished it.
And as for the 1st one, I will say that Selasi has a tremendous ability despite the narrative tics that got to me here and there to render very real, very nuanced characters.
She is great with details, with dialogue, and with pacing, and very subtly handled what was a rather complicated chronological approach in this novel. By the time I finished the book, I cared very, very deeply about the Sai family, and hoped for the best for them, despite their faults. I'll be excited to read whatever Selasi puts out next, but for now I'm glad she's been getting a lot of attention for this one. View 2 comments. Taiye Selasi n. Taiye Selasi na TED View all 3 comments. Much as I resisted it to start with, I ended up loving this beautiful novel about a complex African-American family full of secrets, estrangements, and shifting alliances.
With its wise commentary on race and class in America, it also brought to mind one of my absolute favorites, On Beauty by Zadie Smith, whom I think Selasi is destined to join in the top rank of contemporary author Much as I resisted it to start with, I ended up loving this beautiful novel about a complex African-American family full of secrets, estrangements, and shifting alliances.
With its wise commentary on race and class in America, it also brought to mind one of my absolute favorites, On Beauty by Zadie Smith, whom I think Selasi is destined to join in the top rank of contemporary authors.
I particularly loved this aside on what it means to be black: The writing takes some getting used to. Unannounced, unambitious. Just suddenly there. The event is also mythologized in a way that highly irritated me to start with. Salman Rushdie?! The persistent wordplay, including rogue capitalization and hyphenation, also felt a bit too clever. I kept thinking that, although impressive, the book was overwritten. Selasi is so talented she completely gets away with all of it.
She has the confidence to expand the few days between a death and a funeral into a decades-long family saga, rife with betrayal and shame. And she immerses you completely in her settings, whether the backseat of a New York taxi, the dusty streets of Ghana and Nigeria, or a dorm bathroom.
Jonathan Franzen fans, perhaps. I'm not saying that there aren't some lovely metaphors and descriptions here, bits of alliterative wordplay I liked, moments that pull at the heart, occasionally with personal resonance - but it was easy to forget them when wading through paragraphs of that standard, over-serious "poetic" stuff.
I found most of the scenes in West Africa more interesting, anything which provided a sense of a culture I don't know well, but chiefly this is an American book: One of today's favoured templates just as Austen's "three or four families in a country village" once was.
It's possible to imagine being quite impressed with this book in a different context: I think the hype simply shows how much attention you can get for your okay first novel if you went to Harvard AND Oxford AND have the right media-friendly personality and opinions AND have already worked in the industry.
Looking like a supermodel rarely does any harm either. The publishers could have done more with editing and to encourage rewriting. To some, surely they would have said "this is promising, but come back to us with your next novel instead". I don't require fast-paced books but in the first pages Ghana Must Go actually became repetitive and tedious.
Moments of Kweku's, the father's, death are slowed down like time-lapse photography and supplied every few pages between flashbacks to various parts of his past life and his family's; then in Part II the same happens with the moments people find out he has died. Described this way I like the approach, but as it is in the book, it doesn't work very well; it's too drawn out and even sometimes disorganised.
It's a structure perhaps better suited to film - Selasi has also worked in TV and screenwriting. The characters, as they each first appear, have believable essences that make them seem somehow more real than the book, Kweku being the best drawn. But as the story wears on there are a lot of details and responses that don't fit together psychologically, that feel like the work of a writer who's either very young and sheltered or isn't a briliant observer of a really wide range of people and also doesn't know much psychology in depth, just taking bits and pieces from the media.
Many of the best writers, including those from hundreds of years before anything specifically about psychology was written down, can transmit a sense of three-dimensional people who possess attachment styles and schemas of relating and reacting based on their experiences, show clearly how these were formed in their early lives and how they were affected later.
Selasi's characters aren't entirely without psychological depth, it's more that there are collage-like instances of "that happened to them therefore they do this" - but often without setting it in the wider context of the person's earlier experiences and therefore certain things just do not compute.
And as this is not a great novel, and also a first novel from someone with what appears to be a very privileged background There's such an awful lot of this sort of thing in fiction currently that it does start to seem tacky and exploitative unless the writer honestly needs to include it for personal reasons. Or unless it's the sort of pulp in which you don't expect any better. However, we shouldn't expect authors to make personal disclosures about traumatic experiences unless they want to anyway.
Her next book it's not like there isn't going to be one, is it? And in any case - like Franzen - she's still interesting as a pundit regardless of the novels. Apr 15, Melanie Greene rated it it was amazing. You guys. I literally - like, actually, physically, inexplicably - had to stop myself from taking a bite of this book. My desire to devour it, to internalize it and at the same time, to curl up in it and be surrounded by it, was that strong.
So, Kweku, the father of four, brilliant surgeon, loving husband, and then - none of those things, abandoning the roles without actually leaving them behind in his heart. Sixteen years after he left Boston and his fami http: Sixteen years after he left Boston and his family behind, he dies suddenly, leaving his ex-wife and children with too many things unsaid. They have continents of mis- and non-communication within them, for a group that started out so solidly as a nuclear family - but Kweku's leaving burned deep scars into them all.
But, whatever. A plot device - this long-delayed bringing back together of once-close family members, complete with sad revelations and falling into old patterns and tears and tears and joinings.
It's good stuff, undoubtedly, and Selasi balances each of the five survivors with delicacy, weaving their stories just tightly enough to hold while still seeing their individual, lovely shades. The magic is in the writing. Follow the ways color-attuned and monochromatic sensibilities speak about each character.
Delve into the truths about identity and self-perception and heritage. Admire the use of dialogue and the silences within dialogue.
See the emotions transparent in the empathic guts of the Sai family. Discover the terrifying beauty of Selasi's writing, and after you've read it and re-read it, come back and tell me how damn right I am. But if it's a library book, don't actually chew on the novel. It's bad form. View 1 comment. It's not you, Taiye, it's me. I don't know why I feel like none of the characters have enough of a personality to seem human, despite being well stocked with anguished personal histories and appropriate mixes of generic and unique traits except Olu's Asian American wife Ling, who seems particularly ill-served.
Her politely racist father, direct from central casting, is at least spared the indignity of being thought 'cute' But perhaps the viewpoint-shifting and relentless interiority sets the ba It's not you, Taiye, it's me.
Her politely racist father, direct from central casting, is at least spared the indignity of being thought 'cute' But perhaps the viewpoint-shifting and relentless interiority sets the bar impossibly high.
With all these deepest darkest hearts on display, Selasi is up against the problem But it's me, it's my fault. When Sadie flares up at her mother I'm disgusted and confused; Selasi's explanation of her resentment adds up, but it doesn't feel right to me.
Fola, the mother, is adorable morally faultless , her thoughts poetically rendered, but still seems to sleepwalk. Kweku, the father, gifted with the most story-space to express himself, is generally similarly somnolent. The elder son Olu, for all his inept emoting, lacks substance.
Taiwo and Kehinde, damaged, knitted into each other, are the only characters that seem to really live. It's also mostly my fault that I struggled with what felt like gender-normativity, mostly. Take Ama, Kweku's second wife, described by Olu as a 'village idiot' and by the magic yogi carpenter character as 'used to being told what to do', by Kweku as 'capable of being satisfied' and also, conclusively, as 'a genius'. Selasi thus makes the case for her, through Kweku and later Fola, as unfairly judged, but crucially doesn't give her a voice: Maybe it's a good tactic though to make the reader do the work?
I could really have done without the enormous excess of physical descriptions especially the constant judgemental equivocal adjectives like beautiful and pretty and I would have been much happier to do without any of the sex scenes. My fault. And the abuse I always wish these scenes were offstage. It's my fault that I wanted a different book when this one was perfectly good. People and relationships are mashed up, injured by institutional racism and racism-induced inferiority complexes I ineptly fill in the gaps as to why Fola, perhaps because she is African, seemingly hasn't prepared her children well to cope with anti-blackness in America.
Poverty happens with consequences, but lacks its taste. In general the Sais move freely through the world unhindered by monetary obstacles.
Staff near-silently assist them. There is nuance, but the people change painfully, while the structures that hurt them slumber in place. There is sense of place, aesthetic; not political, not communal.
Honestly it's well constructed and beautifully written and all. And I enjoyed reading it, on the whole. I just couldn't fall in love. Mar 26, Chidi rated it really liked it. Both debut novels exhibit raw talent and beauty.
Both women handle serious topics such as race, class, gender, ambition, social status with tremendous ease. Both novels, however, are incredibly overwritten, dripping with prose that should have been left on the cutting room floor.
I'm thinking here of the description of Kweku's death and how Selasi goes in super slo-mo to describe every detail of our patriarch's fall. Beautiful, beautiful stuff but perhaps we don't need all of it. Selasi, like Smith, will settle down as a writer, and I can't wait to read more from her. I'm thinking now of something Selasi writes towards the end of the novel. She says relationships forces us to look at our own mortality. Essentially, the arch of our life is mimicked by the arch of our love.
The exciting beginning. The somber end. And the habits in between. I'm guessing this is why people find both joy and struggle in relationships because of how it amplifies the rising and falling action of the business of life. I'm also thinking this is why there are so many 6-months-and-quit relationships.
No one wants to come face to face with the monotony of their life, especially within the construct of love, a construct most of us only understand through saccharine love songs and movies.
There are few movies or songs about walking the dog, paying bills, going grocery shopping, etc. Ironically enough, my girlfriend is telling me I should quit this and follow her to bed.
So I will end here. Dec 12, Andre rated it it was amazing. Absolutely terrific.
A stunning debut. This is a family tale, told with such realism the prose just sings off the page. She describes one character thusly, "Ama isn't a fighter. She comes to breakfast without weapons and to bed in the evening undressed and unarmed. This is the kind of writing you will be treated to when you read this novel. The story evolves in a circular manner, which keeps things tense and exciting. The novel opens with the death of Kweku Sai, a father, husband and reno Absolutely terrific. The novel opens with the death of Kweku Sai, a father, husband and renowned surgeon.
We learn of this man's life and his children through looking back, but not in a linear way, but in a orbitual way, with the prose always shining. Kweku and his first wife have four children, who are given complexity and depth by Ms.
Selasi's brilliant writing. Kweku has struggled hard to reach the heights of his profession, hailing from Ghana, to succeed in America, the often untold immigrant story, vividly on display here. His dutiful and beautiful wife Fola has borne him four children and has been a loyal partner.
The family suddenly unravels due to a very unfortunate event. Or rather Kweku's response to this event. The domino effects of Kweku's decision will affect wife and children. The fallout is quite disruptive and leads to a splintering of the family. The author skillfully weaves the differing perspectives of how this situation has impacted wife and children, over a number of years and numerous places.
The children's stories are captivating and unforgettable, leaving an impression long after you've finished the book. Essentially, the novel seeks to answer the question of how does a family repair and recover, is it even possible? Was family ever a reality?
I think the book description sums it up best, "What is revealed in their coming together is the story of how they came apart Trust me! May 01, jo rated it really liked it Shelves: Roberto Astrologo. Lo fa in un impulso del momento, ma non lo fa per capriccio.
Ma anche la sua famiglia reagisce allo stesso modo. Ma il cerchio non si chiude del tutto. E lo si sente. Lo stimato medico, nonostante tutto il suo sapere non riesce ad intervenire a quelli che sono evidenti sintomi d'infarto.
E' troppo distratto. Troppo impegnato a ricordare. Lui lo sa. Ma non ci fa caso. What does Shabaan Robert have in common with Christopher Okigbo?
What does the champagne- drinking upper-class Creole society described by Easmon of Sierra Leone have in common with the rural folk and fishermen of J. Clark's plays?
Indeed, the so-called father of African literature was remarkably skeptical of his offspring. Which is the problem. But what? The African continent consists of 55 states recognized by the UN. The trouble is obvious: If states make suspicious categories for art, continents are closer to useless. And yet, just the other day I had a cheerful altercation with the Danish presenter Martin Krasnik, who argued—very genuinely, I should say—that I am an African writer. The audience clapped, Martin conceded, and the conversation continued—but I marveled, not for the first time, at the truth behind these terms.
We speak of Russian writers and characters, French writers, Spanish writers, Italian writers, German writers, instead of European writers—and we do so because we take seriously the differences between countries. We speak of Japanese writers, Indian writers, Chinese writers, instead of Asian writers—and we do so because we take seriously the nuances of these cultures. Why do we do this? Of course, we tend to dismiss this linguistic complexity as a symptom of primitive clannishness, as if these two thousand languages were spoken by one hundred people apiece.
In fact, Amharic, Swahili, Hausa and my own Yoruba, for example, are spoken by tens of millions of human beings—and soon to join Google Translate. Of all the continents, Africa is the least eligible for generalization. What language do they speak in this Africa?
What is the weather like? What are we thinking for food, clothing, music, worship, topography? Are we imagining the snow-capped mountains of Cape Town or the grasslands of Nairobi or the urban sprawl of Cairo or the cacophonous chaos of Lagos? Enter Wainaina.
Amongst his truly priceless set of satirical instructions: In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Africa is big: This is the entity Wainaina is considering, and the one we keep creating when we refuse to specify the country—at the very least, the region—a text takes on.
This is why my undoubtedly well-meaning hosts in Hamburg, this April, chose for my talk a safari-themed room in the Tierpark Hagenbeck, a zoo. Not about a continent, nor a country, nor the human beings who live therein, but the imagined Africa, the single Africa from which African novels come. This is a book about a family, they told me, not about poverty or hunger.
I love my German title but hate the reasons that we need it. Kweku Sai, who has been dying for the better part of one hundred pages, finally gets on with it. In the very last moment of his very short life, he comes to a realization: To have somehow unhooked his little story from the larger ones, the stories of Country and of Poverty and of War that had swallowed up the stories of the people around him and spat them up faceless, nameless Villagers, cogs; to have fled, thus unhooked, on the small SS Sai for the vastness and smallness of life free of want: Again, the audience clapped, the moderator laughed, and we proceeded to talk about books.
But the moment illumined a common assumption: To be sure, there are writers tiresome ones who like to pen polemics, others who write political satire and elegant social critique. Even where an African novelist has attended to autobiographical material—that is, setting a story in his or her country, observing its social dynamics—we are mistaken in engaging the politics to the exclusion of the poetry.
What matters is the shape-making impulse, the emergence and convergence of an excitement into a wholeness. We concern ourselves with his singular voice, the particulars of his writing style, the inner lives of his characters, and ask him about the same. The Abundance is a glorious novel about cooking, mothers, death, and TV—but to those who would seek to market the book, it is about immigration. But in classifying these works as immigrant novels, we do what Kweku Sai most fears: No good.
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