October 29th, 2009

every week is ibarw

"The danger of a single story"

coffeeandink posted a number of links, which I'm working my way through.

One is a talk given by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie.

At about minute-two (of a nearly twenty-minute talk) she says: "Because all I had read were books in which characters were foreign, I had become convinced that books, by their very nature, had to have foreigners in them. And had to be about things with which I personally could not identify."

I've heard stuff like this before (see my tags) but I don't think I've ever been quite so struck as I was in that moment.

She goes on to approach this idea about monolithic ideas ("a single story") about groups of people (the poor, Africans, Mexicans) from various angles.