May was a good month, guys, forever etched in my memory henceforth as the month I read 14 books. It only makes sense then that May’s recommendation is a book, a short one, by one of my favourite authors – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
If Chimamanda’s name rings a bell, it’s probably because you’ve heard Beyonce rave about her, or seen her 2013 TED Talk title We Should All be Feminists splashed on Dior’s t shirts and endorsed by the likes of rihanna, amongst others. It’s not everyday that a literary star gets mainstream recognition on such a scale, which explains why chimamanda has reached more or less cult status in literary and pop culture circles.
Last year, she published a new short story adapted from a letter she’d wrote when her pregnant friend asked her for advice on how to raise her baby daughter as a feminist. The result? A 15 step manifesto of sorts, which is clear and concise, charming in its telling, and a fantastic entry point to new readers of Chimamanda’s work.
Approaching a new author can be daunting, especially if youre not a habitual reader, which is why I recommend this book – it’s great both for seasoned readers of her work as well as people who are brand new. It’s easy to read, and Chimamanda truly has a talent for taking complicated matters and putting them across so clearly and cheerfully that the issues dont isolate or alienate readers. It also makes a great gift for new parents, and I dont think it should be restricted to simply parents of girls. I 100% recommend this to everyone. It should be necessary reading in schools. It’s not even long, so you can’t bandy the excuse of having a short attention span, it’s like, 10,000 words, more a lyrical essay than anything else.
After reading Dear Ijeawele:
I also recommend her TED Talks – the danger of a single story, or we should all be feminists.
And my favorite novel of hers by far – Americanah.
That’s it for May, y’all. And no, i dont get a commission on for bookdepo/kino/times/wh smith/any other bookseller sales, before you ask. Though i really should start looking into that. Where y’at, booksellers? hit me up.
Looking for more entertainment recommendations? You can read the rest of my monthly pop culture recommendations here