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You know Ifemelu, right? The principal character in Adichie’s hit novel, Americanah.

A few weeks ago, I brought you news {HERE} that Ifemelu’s blog—loved by readers of Americanah— has come to life in a worpress blog titled The Small Redemptions of Lagos. The posts are written by Adichie-writing-as-Ifemelu.

You should check it out. It’s like Ifemelu’s life has left the fictional world and come into this “real” space where you can actually meet and engage with her. Cool concept.

I pop by from time to time to see what she’s been up to and found this short, to-the-point, and incisive advice on style and writing.

It’s essentially Ifemelu’s criticizing  a certain kind of African fashion and blogging lingo.

Enjoy!

Adichie-style-files

Zemaye’s Take: Bandwagon imitative fashion babble talk.

Examples:

PAIR as a clunky verb – Play with texture by PAIRING a velvet skirt with a silk top.

STUN as a verb but oddly without an object – Ada STUNNED in a red dress

Clothes (often poorly-tailored) referred to as PIECES to justify inflated prices – she wore a piece from the Spring/Summer collection

Pretentious jargon that nobody understands – Ada’s new Spring/Summer resort collection.

Biko what is ‘resort’?

And what if we created our own language and let oyibo copy us? What of Harmattan collection? Rainy/Dry collection? Early/Late collection?

Solution: The best language is simple, sincere, and should actually make sense. Be original. Be real.

The Small Redemptions of Lagos

 

Image from Author’s fashion blog. Check it out HERE.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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