Monday, July 24, 2006

Diana Evans Book Reading

A friend just sent me information about this. Cassava Republic will be bringing the writer Diana Evans to Nigeria on a book tour (three Nigerian cities including Aug 5th at Jazzhole and Aug 12th at Silverbird's Media Store).

I read her haunting book 26a a few months ago. The characters (especially Georgia) stayed with me for weeks afterwards.

There is a Nigerian connection, because Diana Evans is partly Nigerian. The protagonists of 26a (Georgia and Bessie) had a Nigerian mother and spent part of their childhood years living in Nigeria. I haven't read many books about mental illnesses, but this book deals with it in a very sensitive and engaging way.

12 comments:

Pilgrimage to Self said...

I stumbled across Cassava Republic via Jeremy's blog a couple of days ago and I kept meaning to put a post up about it but never got round to it. Anyway, the CR write up about Diana Evans prompted me to finally take 26a off my bookshelf (after many months of sitting there) and start reading it and so far so good.

Everchange said...

I haven't heard of her yet. Sounds interesting. I just might be around for this. By the way, I heard Tsitsi Dangarembga has done the sequel to Nervous Conditions?

sokari said...

I have been thinking about buying this book so thanks for the recommendation as it sounds worthwhile - oh dear back to amazon again? I have also been meaning to start Zadie Smth's "On Beauty" whose shelf life is beginning to tell. Be interested to know if anyone has read it yet. I enjoyed her first book not least because I lived in north west london and not only knew the locations well but also some of the characters in the book. This one I am not so sure - I bought it in one of those 3 for 2 deals at Borders in London!

I find the more I can personally relate whether through similar ideas or experiences with novels the more I enjoy them. Thus I liked Sefi Atta's "Everything Good Will come". On the other hand I could not relate to Purple Hibiscus at all though I do appreciate the quality of writing and the challenge involved in dealing with such a disturbing subject.

One author I would suggest is Haitian writer, Edwidge Danticat (pilgrimage - her Breath Eyes, Memory was on Opray's book list). I have read all her books and each time I enter a new world of words and feelings - just beautiful.
Just some thoughts.

Africainement said...

I agree w/ Sokari..I love Edwidge Dandicat..but I'll def' give Diana Evans a try...
Hey Ore ..got a new blog...on blogpspot..u influenced me a bit..lol

yayemarieba.blogpsot.com

Ore said...

LOL! Pilgrimage, you're just like me sometimes. I buy books, but then have them on my shelf for ages without reading them.

I haven't heard about the sequel to Nervous Conditions. I'll do a Google search to see if anything comes up.

Sokari, I LOVE Edwidge Danticat. I have Breath, Eyes, Memory and The Dew Breaker, which I really loved.

My brother has On Beauty and really liked it. My sister started it, but does not seem to be getting into it. I did not really enjoy White Teeth much even though I've spent a lot of time in NW London and thought that would be a bonding point. I hope I will enjoy ON because it's set in Massachusetts and I've lived there and spent a lot of time in the very academic environment. I'll give it a try. The worst that could happen is that I will not like it much. It's funny though, because I really admire Zadie Smith's writing style.

Yayemarie, can't wait to check out your blog. I went to the url. It's a site on bible studies and doesn't really appear to be a blog. Is this your blog?

Ore said...

Oh, I meant OB, not ON, as a shorthand for On Beauty (lazy me).

Yayemarie, there was a typo. I found your actual blog.

Africainement said...

it's weird..hun

yayemarieba@blogspot.chopefully that will work this time...

Mona said...

Really? I'm going to find out about this...Thanks :)

uknaija said...

I think On Beauty is Zadie Smith's best book so far. I couldn't get into White Teeth- maybe because I never lived in NW London :-)

Diana Evans 26a is good. I don't know if you can say you enjoyed a book with such sad themes- but she writes well and movingly

Ore said...

uknaija, you give me encouragement to read On Beauty.

Yes, I thought Diana Evans was such a beautiful writer. I learnt that she was/is a writer with Pride magazine, and I used to be an avid Pride reader when I lived in the UK. I'm one of those sick magazine junkies who keeps her favourite back issues and I have tons of Essence and Pride. So, I dug through and read her articles for Pride. Well, her articles were well-written, but still didn't really show the talent that lay beneath.

Ayoola said...

Hey Ore, It's not that I'm not getting into Zadie Smith's On Beauty, though I admit, it has been pretty slow-going; I actually am getting into it and it's pretty interesting and quite funny. I do relate to the life of academia in Massachusetts becuase I lived that life for 6 years but I do have to say, the book isn't gripping the way say Purple Hibiscus was. Oh, Chimamanda's new book, Half of a Yellow Sun, is about to be out, btw.

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