Monday, July 19, 2010

Reader's Diary #631- Nasibu Mwanukuzi: Days of Summer

My selection this week comes from a Tanzanian writer, singer-songwriter and poet who also goes by the name of Ras Nas.

"Days of Summer" presents an ironic take on the usual connotations of summer. There are no unforgettable girls in daisy dukes here. Instead we're presented with a man waking up to the sun shining in his apartment but instead of this being a joyous occasion, he's nauseous and preoccupied with death.

If you think it sounds like a downer, it is. And it doesn't really work. The last paragraph begins, "Then suddenly, all of a sudden and without warning, everything turned sad." I like stories that have a twist at the end, but this one only pretends to have a twist. It's sad from the get go. He's nauseous, he's fixated on death, he notices the dilapidation of the surrounding buildings. Suddenly he's sad? When was he happy?

I'd not traveled on trains much except for my vacations in England and Japan. I remember looking at the houses and apartments nearest the train stations and in both countries they were noticeably shabbier then those further out. Dirtier, falling down, and covered in graffiti. Yet there were lines with clothes hanging from them. Could the people there be happy? I wondered. After reading Mwanukuzi's story, I guess not.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Tea said...

Interesting, thanks for your comment. I've never read this author. I do love short stories.

JoAnn said...

I think I'll take a pass on this one! It's been a month, but I'm back to short stories again - Guy de Maupassant today.

Margot said...

Too bad this one was a downer. I occasionally travel by train and I wonder about the people who live nearby too. Many of the homes are very nice and then I'll see the sad ones. But, it's a nice sunny day today and I'm going to concentrate on sunny.

I read an O. Henry story about the old west (Texas). You can find it here.

TexasRed said...

Read a miniature crime drama this morning. Lots of fun! TexasRed Books

John Mutford said...

Tea: It was my first exposure to this author as well. If you click on his photo you'll also be taken to his site where you can also sample his music and poetry.

JoAnn: Maupassant is one of those names that keeps popping up here at Short Story Mondays. I always remember having read him, but not if I liked him or not. Anyway, I went back and checked. It turns out that I did, in fact, enjoy "The Horla

Margot: Speaking of trains, did you hear about the tragic train crash in India this morning?

TexasRed: A crime drama could be fun. Thanks for sharing!

Teddy Rose said...

Too bad it didn't work John. I think I will pass on reading it.

Here's what I read: Foster by Claire Keegan

raidergirl3 said...

I read about death for Summer in Paris - The Death of Olivier Becaille by Emil Zola