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Listing the Reading List

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The list begins with George Elliot’s Middle March and ends with Derek Walcott’s Omeros. I switch things around a bit. I slip a little bit of Aristotle between Lord of The Rings and The Forest of a Thousand Demons. I move Derek up by a few books and place it next to Wole Soyinka’s Ake. Nothing wrong with ending on a light note with Sherlock Holmes. But then I decide that Dickens should get the last word. After all he’s the effing master. The list will stay imaginary. But I am going to read each and every book. Wow, I can’t even convince myself. But there is Middle March sitting on the shelf. The pale white face of the woman on the binding is washed out to a ghostly grey. As I stand up to get the book, I see for the first time a copy of Sara Levine‘s Short Dark Oracle. Held up in my couch, stuffing my face with chips and  candy, I am reading Sarah’s book. It’s a book of nervous stories or stories of unease. The stories are dark, just as the title promises but I kinda am still taken by surprise. Maybe it’s the language. It’s like Seinfeld without the ha-ha-ha. A voice so aloof, so effortless, so undramatic that can somehow still powerfully convey the secrets of that fucked-up-ness that exists only in the ordinary world of the everyday.

 

 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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