Thursday, November 10, 2016

Book Review: We Should All Be Feminists

My next book review is on a piece from my all time favourite author. I love literature from African writer!. Allow me to introduce to you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Ms  Adichie is a Nigerian novelist whose first novel, Purple Hibiscus, had me hooked from the first paragraph. But it was really her novel Americanah which won her the accolade as my favourite author. She executes the art of storytelling with such finesse and mastery.
And for those of us in the African Diaspora, with a longing to know our roots, we crave stories that will bring us closer to motherland. I consider it a personal privilege to be able to read Chimamanda’s work which brings characters and places and things to life so that you can literally taste, smell and feel the words you are reading. Her vivid descriptions colour the narrative and pulls you right into the heart of her scenes. 
We Should All Be Feminists, which is an extension of a Tedx talk she held in 2013 is her latest piece that I read, and I must say like all her other creations I just couldn’t get enough of it once I cracked the book open. I gulped every single word of it in one sitting.  Although I should have trusted that this would be just as good I was skeptical about reading it for two reasons:

1. I’ve always treated the term feminism with contempt,  which I now know is because of my lack of understanding of it. After all how could I align myself with a movement that evoked so much anger and fighting against the status quo? How can I count myself a feminist when I don’t hate men. I have always wanted to be someone’s doting wife, and I loved lipstick so much?
2. It’s a nonfiction piece of work. I just wasn’t in the mood to read an essay. Although Chimamada has always used her novels as a platform from which to address social issues experienced by Africans, the message was always cushioned by the narrative. I guess I was scared that a non-fictional piece, may perhaps be too blunt.
Well Chimamanda directly addresses my first concern within the first two pages, by speaking to my ignorance with her in depth analysis of what it really means to be feminist . Also within the first ten minutes of reading she addresses my second concern. I quickly realised that storytelling is woven into the fabric of this essay, which gives it some warmth and a tone of endearment.  She has so many anecdotal examples from her personal experiences as a woman living in Nigeria,  which complements her points nicely.
What  I particularly love is that she doesn’t just address how gender equality affects women but how also how gender construction has also done a disservice to men.
I think I should stop here because I  probably will give too much away. But I’d like to finish by saying We Should All Be Feminists is only 99p on Amazon Kindle so there is NO excuse for not purchasing. Even, the paperback is little over £3 on Amazon. Also it’s a very short and fairly easy read, so won’t take up too much of your time. In fact it can probably be read in one train journey depending on how fast you read.
Can I now call myself a feminist? Chimamanda makes such a convincing case, but hmmm… I’d say maybe I am in some ways but still not entirely. (Ms Adichie, I hope we can still be friends!)
By the way, you have to buy!


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