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Monday, January 15, 2018

Reader's Diary #1709- NoViolet Bulawayo: Happy Birthday Africa President

It's the rarest of times that I come across a sentence so spectacular to make me fall in love with the author's writing almost immediately, but it happened several times during NoViolet Bulawayo's "Happy Birthday Africa President."

The first was with the second sentence in the story, a run-on sentence and spectacular because it breaks rules intentionally and to great effect. It's an artist laying down a setting and also triggering the effect that ubiquitous propaganda posters have on one's senses. The next time was shortly after in a scene describing the sun, "searing us like we owe it money," a sentence pulling double-duty to describe the heat plus the mindset forced upon the characters by their poverty.

The plot itself isn't complicated, basically a fight breaks out between characters of different political bents, but it certainly has topical and relevant themes and besides, the writing is so gorgeous and masterful I'm left in awe.

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