Sunday, 10 January 2010

One World

This is one of the finest anthologies of short stories I have ever read. In fact am not a very good reader of short stories and writings; I used to think it is a lazy form of writing meant for mediocre writers and people who have got no good things to do with their spare time. Besides, because I have a major background in Mass Communications and minor in Print Journalism, I find it very difficult to read short stories and writings. As a Print Journalist you are wired to read and write as long as from here to Mount Kilimanjaro.

However, I am completely very wrong in my assessment of the short story genre of literature because with the ‘One World’, it is an entirely different experience altogether. I was completely proved wrong beyond whatever! Every single story featured in the anthology is quite mesmerising, interesting and reflects in detail the rich cultural backgrounds and experiences of the writers. It is a cornucopia of knowledge and an amalgamation of diverse interesting experiences and a melting point of cultural understanding and appreciation.

As a Nigerian, I am in fact fascinated by the fact that Nigerian writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Molara Woods, Jude Dibia and Ovo Adagha dominated the anthology with interesting and true-to-life stories that reflects everyday life Of Nigerians in Nigeria and Diaspora. That however made meaningless of the title of the anthology. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her unique style explored the struggle of a young Nigerian who was trying to shed her African roots and culture in the United States while Molara Woods delved into the ups and downs of being a partner of an activist in Nigeria during the military era. The contributions of other writers are better read than reviewed. The dominance of Nigerians in the book could not have come at a better time than this when Nigeria is being labelled a terrorist country due to an ugly incident that occurred in Michigan, United States December last. The book is therefore a testimony to the fact that something good can still come out of Nigeria despite all odds and a consolation to millions of Nigerians that despite the ugly incident, they are still a force to be reckoned with in other fields especially in the literary field.

It is fascinating too that the royalties from the book which is an anthology of 23 short stories from 23 different authors who came from 14 different countries in five continents would go to the healthcare charity, Médecins Sans Frontières. This is very interesting bearing in mind what the charity stands for. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

The anthology is therefore a welcomed development and very good cum successful attempt to contribute to humanitarian work as well as bringing together different voices from different parts of the world for the purpose of entertaining with their various interesting short stories which cuts a across their various cultural experiences and milieu. The stories are simply fascinating and told in clarity and intensity of human experience. The book published by the New Internationalist features the work of such interesting writers like Elaine Chiew, Molara Wood, Martin A Ramos, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Lauri Kubuitsile, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Shabnam Nadiya, Ravi Mangla, Chika Unigwe, Dipita Kwa, Vanessa Gebbie, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Jude Dibia, Konstantinos Tzikas, Petina Gappah, Ken N Kamoche, Lucinda Nelson Dhavan, Adetokunbo Gbenga Abiola, Skye Brannon, Wadzanai Mhute, Ivan Gabriel Reborek, Ovo Adagha and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Cover Photo Courtesy Of New Internationalist.

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