Holiday windfall

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It’s New Year’s Eve and as I look both backward over the last twelve months and forward to the new year (2016 has a lovely ring to it, doesn’t it?), I am deeply grateful for the many gifts that add meaning to my life: my family - starting with my husband (my hero), our daughter (my amazing bibi), and our son-in-law (my sweetheart); my extended tribe (with a Swedish arm that keeps growing and now includes three little ones); and last, but not least, the fabulous pile of books I found under the Christmas tree. They were all beautifully wrapped in glittering paper that caught and reflected the multicolored mini-lights we string up every year along the branches of a fir cut in the woods.

What a windfall! I was overjoyed to receive four African novels. Corresponding to numbers 2 through 5 on the twelve-book list I mentioned in my last blog post, ('Studying African novels') they are: 

- Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (the 50th anniversary edition)

- Ayi Kwei Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (I have heard so much about this book, but still haven’t got around to it. Better late than never!)

- Mariama Bâ’s (original French-language) Une si longue lettre, whic was titled So Long a Letter in its English-language translation

- and Driss Chraïbi’s Mother Comes of Age.

My New Year’s resolutions include carving out more time for reading, which has always ranked high on my list of preferred pastimes. I haven’t finished A Wreath for Udomo by Peter Abrahams yet, but I am enthralled. I plan to write more about this novel once I’ve reached its end. In the meantime, I thought I’d quote one of the passages that spoke to my heart. It’s nighttime and Udomo is on a ship heading home to Africa after spending years in England.

Before I head downstairs to cook supper (it’s my turn tonight) I can’t help but wonder: did you get any African novels for Hannukah or Christmas or Kwanzaa or your birthday (if you’re a lovely December baby)? Or are you planning to read any African novels this coming year? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Take good care and thanks for stopping by.

With my warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, kind, and rewarding new year,

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