April 22, 2012
I have been reading Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Adichie’s first novel, for a while now. I bought the book at Glendora Books a little while after a colleague wondered how come I hadn’t read any of her books. And, my goodness is she a wonderful writer. A few weeks ago I also watched a video of her speech on “The danger of A Single Story”. She is very smart and she does speak like she writes: very deliberate, very articulate, simply engaging.
I am just about on page ninety-nine in her book and it has been quite interesting. The story surrounds a wealthy family whose head happens to be a staunch Catholic more religious than Christian in character and a strict, controlling disciplinarian. My first impressions are the discomfort of the second child of the family Kambili who is narrating the story. She and her elder brother Jaja obviously felt imprisoned yet she finds herself always yearning for affirmation from her father.
I admire Chimamanda’s writing style a lot. It amazes me how she stretches even the events of a dinner table into several pages and one still finds it interesting. She also manage to subtly weave the Igbo culture and language into her book like the classic Nigeria writers who were very well educated yet neither intimidated by westerners nor ashamed of where they were born. They had authentic identities.
Like I wrote earlier, I have not even gone half way but I do recommend the book as a good read. Do get one for yourself and the video is free, you can watch it on youtube.