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Last week was an interesting week here in Washington, DC. The city was paralyzed by a record-breaking snowfall. I had to do something to cure the cabin fever! While there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, so much more can be found online. I found some short stories that I thought I’d share.

Quality Street by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, guest-edited by Claire Messud

Baptizing the Gun by Uwem Akpan

Waiting by Chika Unigwe

Going Home by Chika Unigwe

Simpatico by Sefi Atta, guest-edited by Claire Messud

{via Guernica, The New Yorker, Per Contra, NEXT}

As a fairly new blogger (I wonder how long I can use that!), I sometimes find it difficult to decide what to post here. There’s a lot of information out there! In any case, Chimamanda Adichie’s amazing talk at the TEDGlobal 2009 conference held in Oxford, UK is one of those pieces of information that I imagine everyone who has any interest in African writers must have seen or heard about somewhere.  But then again, maybe not.  Is it not my passion and intent to share information on this blog? And isn’t she one of my favorite novelists?
Well. Enough of my musing.  Let’s get right to it.

adichie-TEDChimamanda gave a talk at TEDGlobal.  I was inspired. I didn’t know much about TED so I feel the need to say a little about it here. TED presents “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” That was all the hook I needed. I’ve already spent a fair amount of time there, riveted.

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. One of their conferences, TEDGlobal is now held annually in Oxford. The themes of the global conference are slightly more international in nature.

About this talk
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. The danger of a single story.

For a little twist, columnist John Iteshi  does not agree with her views in this speech.

I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I absolutely love her work. I was first introduced to her writing when I volunteered with a literary agent who happened to be her agent on Purple Hibiscus. (I worked just out of sheer love of reading!) I read a galley copy of Purple Hibiscus and I was hooked. It is a coming-of-age story that I could relate to on so many levels. From that point on I’ve tried to find and read ALL of her published works.

adichieChimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of the Orange Prize-winning novel Half of a Yellow Sun (HarperCollins, 2006), has now compiled a collection of compelling short stories in The Thing Around Your Neck (Fourth Estate, 2009).

Maybe it has something to do with my (sometimes) short attention span but I do have a special fondness for short fiction.  And from the reviews I’ve read, I can imagine seeing myself or people I know in many of these stories.  I’ve also already read some of the stories when they were previously published. I’ve listed some of them below with their original publication and alternate title if applicable:

“Jumping Monkey Hill” in Granta 95: Loved Ones
“Cell One” in The New Yorker
“The Headstrong Historian” in The New Yorker
“The Thing Around your Neck” in Prospect 99
“Ghosts” in Zoetrope: All-Story

I’m still anxiously awaiting my copy of the book, however.

Listen to Irritation And Space: A Nigerian Writer In America – a recent NPR conversation with Chimamanda Adichie.