Friday, February 29, 2008

Chris Abani writer

Published since he was 16, in jail in Nigeria soon thereafter (i think i got that right!). After two more imprisonments he turned to poetry. His stories are amazing, he talks about the horrors he saw and heard about as a child. Some are simply horrific. He's an amazing story teller and some of his stories, not the most horrific but the ones about cultural issues, like a few of those he told remind me of my time teaching in the jungles of Sumatra. Some things just didn't make sense. I remember being in the midst of a cholera epidemic that killed hundreds every day. Ironic that the front page of the Bengkulu Sumatra paper was about 14 (or so) Americans who died of legionnaires disease, a new thing at the time. A tiny paragraph on the last page was dedicated to the latest death toll in their own province. I deduced that the financial impact of the death of those Americans far exceeded that of the Indonesians, but i couldn't understand, nor could they explain why the 18 Americans dying was more newsworthy than the deaths of their neighbors.


No comments: