Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Boris Johnson, Eritrea and a recurring theme of twins

So, back to literature and what I'm reading at the moment. I've actually got three books on the go, which is unlike me, but the past few weeks have been so hectic workwise that I seem to undergo mood swings- just in relation to my leisure reading- I hasten to add!

For light entertainment, I'm reading Boris Johnson, the Tory MP for Henley and editor of the right wing magazine The Spectator(known in these parts as the Sextator for the wide tangle of illicit sexual liaisons involving its members of staff last summer).He's widely beloved in the UK for his bumbling cuddly, oversized teddy bear, shambolic persona. I think it's all an act as he was President of the Oxford Union while at university and so isn't the slightest bit as dim or disorganized as he'd like to make out. Which in my book suggests that he is fierecely ambitious. Anyway I'm reading his Seventy Two Virgins which is supposed to be a comedy set around the visit of the US President to the UK in the aftermath of the onset of war in Iraq. It's not as funny as it could be and you can't help feeling that he probably just dashed it off to earn a few pennies, trading on his celebrity.......

For meatier stuff, I finally got hold of Michela Wrong's I Didn't Do It For You, with the intriguing subtitle of- How the World Used and Abused a Small African Nation- and it's about Eritrea. I've only just started but am enjoying it and learning about Eritrea, just as Ms Wrong's book In th Footsteps of Mr Kurtz was one of a set of books that educated me about the Congo.

The third book, I've also only just literally started and it's by Esi Edugyan, a Canadian author of Ghanaian extraction and it's called The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and is set in Canada. According to the blurb it's about a Ghanaian man who moves to Canada and moves with his wife and their twin daughters to a small town where sinister things happen. The twin and other worldly theme thing intrigues me because Helen Oyeyemi (The Icarus Girl) and Diana Evans (26a) both have twins and fantasy in their work......and all three are second generation immigrant (part or wholly) West African young women writers

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that West Africa has a high rate of twinning.....


Nneka's World said...

Read purple hibiscus- very very nice, loved the book and the way she "carried" the characters in the book.

For just general fiction try this guy
Stephen Leather-crime fiction writer, his literary style is quite refreshing

Nkem said...

Gotta love Boris.

Anonymous said...

On twins, it is recorded fact that the Yoruba of West Africa - produce more sets of twins than any other race of people on earth. Even midwifery textbooks say so.

The next in line, I think, are the Japanese.