Because my two most important reading criteria are: 1 I feel genuinely moved by the time I finish a piece, and 2 it stays with me after I close the book.
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.
Shelves: , modern-american-fiction , decades , granta-ybn , africa. 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: another moderately fucked-up upscale intellectual family over a few decades.
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: "she was the best writer in our year" 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. We have received your winning story. It will be featured on Winners page shortly. We have receieved your request. Our customer support team will contact you on your registered email address and mobile number shortly.
Hwe Look Dj Ofori. Ghana vs. Eventually you stop noticing the over exaggeration of everything and you go with the flow. You actually start feeling some sort of sympathy towards this couple. The entire cast and crew do a great job of pulling you into this world. Even though the world is ten times more dramatic than anything you are used to — you fall for it, you get used to it and you embrace it in this two hours. And then Osuofia enters and the comedy begins. The movie truly does get better even though it tempts you to quit it after the first five minutes.
At the latter end of the movie you appreciate that this truly is a comedy and not just a confused dramedy. Downloader Player. Free Download. Free Download Free Download. Part 1. Last Flight to Abuja Being aboard a plane while it crashes is one of the most nightmare-inducing scenarios imaginable. Half of a Yellow Sun Speaking of Nigerian movies set in the past, Half of a Yellow Sun would be a good one to watch after October 1 as the film takes place and when the Nigerian Civil War ended.
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