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07 Dec 2018 00:00
Pure magic: Helen Oyeyemi writes engaging fairy tales
Thank u, next by Ariana Grande
Along with 115-million other humans I am really enjoying “Ari” Grande’s music video for the surprise break-up hit Thank u, next, which I never saw coming and haven’t stopped playing since it came out last month. She cute, she smart and she made a break-up anthem that centres her healing but jazzes it up with an early-2000s rom-com homage to faves such as Mean Girls, Bring it On and Legally Blonde.
It’s 2003 again.
The Reading List
The White Women and the Language of Bees by Kei Miller
This dry, persistent and important essay on the tenuous intimacies between the children of colonisers and the descendants of slaves draws attention to the tensions that when a white women is confronted, through the writings of a fictional black man, with the reality of the hurt she causes by not knowing the context, the language and the reality that has birthed her immigrant identity in an unnamed island country. Miller knows exactly where to land his tool in a piece that examines race, whiteness, proximity, friendship and the silences that bind us. I have subscribed to preelit.com for this and other writing from the Caribbean. (MB)
Anything by Helen Oyeyemi
Perhaps, for reasons that have something to do with our past, escapism in this place is underrated. For a lack of, uhm, imagination, I will merely say that Oyeyemi writes fairy tales for adults. Her words are dreamy, the sentences are indulgent and the stories pure magic. Over the past year, I have watched a friend fall deeply in love with this writer, stealing my books before I could get to through them and amassing titles such as The Icarus Girl, White Is for Witching, Mr Fox and The Opposite House. It’s a lifelong relationship. I keep telling my friend to interview her, and present the damn thing as a transcript. We live in hope. (KS)
The Lists were compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo and Zaza Hlalethwa
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