Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet XCVII

Here's three excerpts from a book I recently read, "Half of a Yellow Sun," by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

“Did you go to school?” 

“Standard two, sah. But I learn everything fast.” 

“Standard two? How long ago?” 

“Many years now, sah. But I learn everything very fast!” 

“Why did you stop school?” 

“My father’s crops failed, sah.” 

Master nodded slowly. “Why didn’t your father find somebody to lend him your school fees?” 


“Your father should have borrowed!” Master snapped, and then, in English, “Education is a priority! How can we resist exploitation if we don’t have the tools to understand exploitation?”

“Of course we are all alike, we all have white oppression in common,” Miss Adebayo said dryly. “Pan-Africanism is simply the most sensible response.” 

“Of course, of course, but my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe,” Master said. “I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

In the morning, Odenigbo woke her up by taking her finger in his mouth. She opened her eyes; she could see the smoky light of dawn through the curtains. 

“If you won’t marry me, nkem, then let’s have a child,” he said. 

Her finger muffled his voice, so she pulled her hand away and sat up to stare at him, his wide chest, his sleep-swollen eyes, to make sure she had heard him properly. 

“Let’s have a child,” he said again. “A little girl just like you, and we will call her Obianuju because she will complete us.” 

Olanna had wanted to give the scent of his mother’s visit some time to diffuse before telling him she wanted to have a child, and yet here he was, voicing her own desire before she could. She looked at him in wonder. This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles. “Or a little boy,” she said finally.
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