So I’m perusing the fiction page on the New Yorker website looking for my next story to read when I realize that T. Coraghessan Boyle has not one, not two, but three of the most recent 25 stories listed. Really, New Yorker? Really??? Not only do you give John Updike two stories, but Coraghessan gets THREE? This is almost worse than discovering Joyce Carol Oates has suddenly put out another novel, as she’s so prone to doing. I think I’ve been down this rant before so I’ll keep it short — I don’t actually have anything against Coraghessan, I just really wish the New Yorker would spread it around a little bit more.
Thus I resolutely plunged into The Headstrong Historian by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a writer who, though not unsuccessful (so Wikipedia tells me) isn’t usually entitled to five New Yorker stories a year. The result was pretty inspiring: Adichie has crafted a nice family history of a Nigerian woman named Nwamgba who first lives through her husband, then through her Anglicized son, then finally through a granddaughter who manages to grow up and recover Nwamgba’s lost culture long after she’s gone in the span of a few breathtaking sentences. It’s a refreshing peak into another culture that doesn’t feel exoticized or forced.