Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Angela A Nwosu-Two Powerful Short Stories by a Nigerian Writer

"Mindscape"  (2010, 5 pages)
"A Ship Anchored in My Dreams" (2009, 8 pages)

Angela Nwosu from Nigeria
Two Powerful New Short Stories
Some Blog Policies 

Before I talk about these great short stories by a new to me author from Nigeria, Angela Nwosu, I want to explain my policy on review requests by new authors.    I am more than happy to read and post on short stories by relatively new writers.   All I require is that you have at least one story published online that readers of my blog can read if they wish.   I would also urge all potential writers to start their own webpage.

Yesterday I read two very interesting and exciting short stories by Angela Nwosu. from Nigeria.    Both of these stories can be read online (there are links at the end of this post).

"Mindscape" is about, among other things, the Nigerian diaspora.   The central character is the daughter of a once affluent businessman.    She now lives and works as a waitress in the northwestern portion of the United States.    Nwosu makes no overt mention of it but one of the things this story made me feel was the huge impact the climate change had.   In a way it feels like the lead character has moved from a chaotic heritage rich and dangerous envirornment to a, in her experience of it, a cold world in which she loses herself when she is cut off from her heritage.    Not long ago I read somewhere that the very last thing an immigrant to a new country will give up is their food.   You will give up your language, your religion even your clothes long before you accept the loss of your ancestral foods.   The more that the food of your home is  unique to your culture the more you  will feel this.   This is beautifully conveyed in "Mindscape" in this passage (which will also give you a feel for the marvelous prose of Nwosu):

"I began to eat in my dreams. My country’s cuisine came to me in different forms. First came ofe onugbu with nni ji. I ate ravenously, and my family’s grave opened up and my ancestors came out with scrolls and taught me who I was. But I looked at them without my eyes and heard them without my ears. One of them stood up and brought me another kind of food – obe ewedu and amala. I savored the food, and my great-great-grandmother taught me that the ingredients for both meals were basically the same even though they are different. Hunger ravaged me again and tuwo shinkafa and a variety of other foods came up, with each naming itself: “I am okodo.”
 “I am ukpo.” “I am acha.” “I am abacha.” “I am fufu.” “I am ojojo.” I ate them all. Then I saw my father and he told me that I was all that food and all that food was me."

There is a lot more in "Mindscape" including some very well done relationships.   Nwosu makes everyone in her story come to life.

"A Ship Abandoned in My Dreams" is a very interesting story.    It is also narrated in the first person.    We find ourselves in a large group of people running.   We are in the central part of a large city.    Our narrator does not know why the crowd is running but knows  that is a good idea, maybe even a survival need, to run with the crowd.    Soon we notice there are all sorts of unaccepted encounters to be had in the crowd.   Many seem to be church goers of some sort.   Soon we encounter a talking cat.    The ending is really opened ending in its interpretation and I thought it was really quite brilliant.

I look forward to watching Angela Nwosu's writing career develop.   Here is a bit of her biography:

Angela Amalonye Nwosu has worked as a teacher, a book editor, a romance writer, a freelance journalist, and a literary critic. “Feminique,” a column she maintained in the Sunday Vanguard (a prominent Nigerian newspaper) for four years, was devoted mainly to issues concerning women. She has published a collection of poems, Waking Dreams

You can read "Mindscape"  HERE.

You can read "A Ship Anchored in Dreams" HERE

Mel u

No comments: