I didn't want to be apologetic about my love story, and I think to be willing to write about love you have to be willing to sound foolish. I wanted to write about foolish and goofy love and different relationships. I wanted to write about interracial relationships in a way that does not pretend as if race does not exist.
If I had not grown up in Nigeria- and if all I knew of Africa were of popular images- I too would think that africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals and incomprehensible people fighting sensless wars, dying of poverty and aids- unable to speak for themselves and waiting to be saved by a kind white foreigner.
Papa sat down at the table and poured his tea from the china tea set with pink flowers on the edges. I waited for him to ask Jaja and me to take a sip, as he always did. A love sip, he called it, because you shared the little things you loved with the people you love.
He was already looking at their relationship through the lens of the past tense. It puzzled her, the ability of romantic love to mutate, how quickly a loved one could become a stranger. Where did the love go? Perhaps real love was familial, somehow, linked to blood, since love for children did not die as romantic love did.
I had people read it early on and, you know, well-meaning people said to me, you should take out the blogs. I didn't get much positive feedback. Only because most of these people were protective of me - it was sort of like a "tone it down, make it easier to swallow" kind of thing. And I just thought if I do that then it's not the book I want to write.
At about the age of seven … I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather: how lovely it was that the sun had come out. This despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria; we didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.
There are people who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time. It is like telling a crawling baby who tries to walk, and then falls back on his buttocks, to stay there. As if the adults walking past him did not crawl, once
If the government doesn't fund education, which they often don't, students are going to stay home and not go to school. It affects them directly. But I'm really not interested in writing explicitly about that. I'm really interested in human beings, and in love, and in family. Somehow, politics comes in.
She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.. It seemed so natural, to talk to him about odd things. She had never done that before. The trust, so sudden and yet so complete, and the intimacy, frightened her.. But now she could think only of all the things she yet wanted to tell him, wanted to do with him.
All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people. Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don't do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are.
If you don't understand, ask questions. If you're uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It's easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here's to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.
There's something very lazy about the way you have loved him blindly for so long without ever criticizing him. You've never even accepted that the man is ugly,' Kainene said. There was a small smile on her face and then she was laughing, and Olanna could not help but laugh too, because it was not what she had wanted to hear and because hearing it had made her feel better.