I have picked up Arundathi Roy’s God of Small things forthe fifteenth time in the last two years and still, I get the same feeling of unreserved satisfaction reading simple sentences that wash over each other.
To be able to craft sentences so good is not accidental I have come to believe, it is a result of endless writing. I have had the opportunity of reading African writers who are blessed with this gift also. Writers who flow in an
unparalleled level of simplicity but yet manage to deliver world class narratives without throwing themselves under the bus.
First person on my list will be Noviolet Bulawayo obviously, We need New Names was a brutish piece of art. It was simple, enticing and all at once immersive.
I enjoyed reading Emmanuel Iduma’s Farad too. His sentences felt like they were chiselled to devastating effects as if he wanted to puncture the hearts of the readers.
Then there was Binyavanga Wainaina’s One day I will write about this place which I read twice and bought two extra to gift to my friends. A very colorful narrative with insightful revelations to a distant past.
I liked reading Tendai Huchu ‘s Hairdresser of Harrare. His simplicity was also laced with humour and honestly I believe you can’t go wrong with humour especially when your sentences are that good. I read Chinelo Okparanta’s Short sotry collection too
Happiness Like Water and felt the exact same thing as I felt reading ‘We need new names’.
Maybe I have not read enough African literature books to make these distinctions but I believe African literature is moving towards the direction that will get more people
interested in reading.
These narratives are bridging the gaps between boring and academic inclined African narratives and Modern day stereotypes.