Have you guys read books by the amazing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? She’s a brilliant writer, able to bring the world of Nigeria and the Nigerian diaspora to life. Plus she’s a feminist writer, and that’s awesome 🙂
I first came to know about her through a meme that was floating around Facebook. I saw the meme and recognised a kindred spirit.
Behold the awesomeness!
How could I not want to know all about this person??
Next thing I knew, I was watching a TEDTalk by her –
And then I was buying as many books as I could find that she’d written. And reading them, of course. (I’m halfway through my collection now)
She has an uncanny way of writing complex, dynamic characters – not necessarily likeable, but not truly unlikeable; neither pure nor fully corrupt; vulnerable and fallible. In other words, her characters are very relatably human. Just like you and me. So their trials and tribulations, their desires and aversions feel like my very own.
I felt that resonance especially with Ifemelu, the protagonist in Americanah. I felt that she was speaking with my voice at times in the narrative and it was quite unnerving to say the least. But there was one particular point in the story, very early on that I felt akin to her. It was when she was describing how she felt around Obinze –
” She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.”
This was revelatory.
I recall the very moment I was reading this – I was lying in bed next to my SO, and this was just a few months into our relationship; I’d just moved in a short while ago. It was at this moment that I realised that this was the relationship I wanted for the rest of my life. Because that’s how I felt about myself while I was with him – like my skin was my right size. He never made me feel like I had to be different, to change myself. I liked myself more when I was with him, and I with him I felt like I was becoming a better version of myself.
And now, more than a year later I still feel the same way; about him, about myself and about us. Being with him makes me feel at peace. It quietens my inner demons and lets my better judgement prevail.
What about you? Have you ever read a quote from a book that was revelatory about your life in that moment?