May 7, 2013
Vanessa’s post ‘A Different Perspective‘ got me thinking about my own process when writing the opposite sex. Although I often prefer to stick more to the male characters (I do understand them better), I also have to work with female characters. I’d start off by saying its fun. Lots of fun. And difficult. Capturing the essence of a female character’s emotion in a specific scene due to certain circumstances, and letting that emotion play itself out through action has always been challenging.
One of the things I often do first, is to compare myself (what I think I would feel and do) to that of the female character. Equipped with this basic knowledge, I would conjure up images either from personal observations or characters in other texts (often from the literary spectrum) and then apply the different possible actions the female character can take. The next step is to analyze what fits this particular character’s personality so as to establish credibility and consistency. Despite this somewhat methodical approach, I do get it wrong more often than not.
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April 28, 2013
Whispers is a novellette I stumbled upon in a second hand bookstore, in a town I’d been to only that one time. Going straight to the publication details of the book, I saw it was by a Kenyan author, and as I’m always interested in African writers, I bought it. Besides, who can refuse an interesting book for only 50 cents?
Muli wa Kyendo has apparently written several more books and plays, which I’ll be trying to hunt for in the future. It’s always a pleasure to read a writer’s work which makes you want more.
Josephine is a young woman trying to make ends meet in Nairobi, where she works as a secretary. When her boss continuously encourages her to “visit” his place and she continuously ignores or refuses, he fires her. Without a job, she must also decide whether she loves Musyoki or Joseph as all her friends, including her best friend Agens, are off getting married.
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March 23, 2013
You have always been, and will continue to be, an inspirational writer. Your voice brings African storytelling to your books and your style makes them a work of art. Things Fall Apart will forever be my favorite book which I have read many times and I know I will read countless times more. Your books that I am yet to read, I will open with awe and anticipation.
Rest in peace.
postscript: The Guardian has a nice article here.
March 19, 2013
The Lake is the second book of Nobel laureate Kawabata that I have read. Unlike the House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories, which I thought to be a remarkable text particularly the title story, The Lake came across as a frustrating work in terms of style.
Briefly, it is the story of a homeless stalker, Gimpei, who follows certain women that he finds posses a certain quality of beauty. What we know of Gimpei is that he was a former school teacher until he stalked one of his students, and that he had committed some ambiguous crime in the past.
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February 23, 2013
Alan Bennett is a prolific writer whose works include plays, screenplays, short stories and novels. Not to mention that he’s also an actor. I’ve read a bit about certain works of his and I’ve heard a lot about them. And I’ve finally read one of his books. I found the book Smut on a ‘bargains’ shelf in a bookstore and it was too tempting to ignore buying it.
Smut is a collection of two novella-like short stories: ‘The Greening of Mrs Donaldson’ and ‘The Shielding of Mrs Forbes’.
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