Who Fears Death? Not Nnedi Okorafor’s heroine!

Language fails before the scale of the violence and the atrocity so that the witness must shapeshift in order to make sense of a reality that is truly protean in its torments and terrors.

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Review of Jeffery Colvin’s Africaville

Africaville by Jeffrey Colvin Africaville is, to put it briefly, stunning. It took me some time to grasp the reasons for the diffuseness of the book’s events, characters, and topography. Frankly, names and places seemed to be jostling, crowding one another too closely, sending things out of focus. After reading more, though, and noting the peripatetic lives of so many characters in the community — living or dead — I began to realize that the mode is the matter. The diffuseness of the telling gestures at the displacement and movements of the African diaspora, with corners and nooks of the…

MODEL MINORITY

Frank Chin, playwright, said in 1974 something that might still apply today: “Whites love us because we’re not black.” There’s only one way to confront the term “Model Minority” in the United States, generally applied to Asians, including South Asians. That way is to understand it as the intentional and painstaking act of ‘modeling’ a minority in the image of the majority. That, Chin was saying, was what some Asians do or feel they must: stay as far away from blacks and hispanics as possible because then the white majority won’t get “spooked” by them. By the way, since the…