Thursday, 18 September 2008

Short Story September: The Headstrong Historian by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This story can be found here in The New Yorker which has a great selection of short stories.

Nwamgba is looking back over her life, she remembers her fierce stubbonness and determination to marry Obierika despite all the rumours about the infertility which ran through his ancestors. When they marry she suffers many miscarriages, being forced to make sacrifices until her son is born.

Shortly after this birth, her husband dies, Nwamgba decides to send her son to an English school, a decision which leaves her proud but practically cuts her out of her sons life. Her son is renamed Micheal, the Christian Missionary school teaches her nudity is wrong, that sacrifices and the rites performed by African tribes are heathen and should be avoided. This education that he recieves which was supposed to help him, creates a divide between his communities beliefs and his.

When he marries and has children, his Mother wishes that she recieves a grandchild, who is the reincarnation of her husband. This new child Grace, can experience the African world and its beliefs, as well as experience and benefit from the British education system.
Another good read for Short Story September


Eva said...

Ohhhhhhhhh! I'm going to go read this as soon as I get home tonight. I've adored both of her novels! :D

gautami tripathy said...

I love Adihie. I read it and loved it. Read my review here:

The Headstrong Historian by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Silvia Dalonzo said...

Loved it. I also loved her speech on Ted: The danger of a single story.
We can relate both