Dennis Henn's Reviews > One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir

One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
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May 05, 12

Read on March 02, 2012

Almost at the book's end Binyavanga writes about nyatiti: "it is a literary form, and the song, the tune of the song, does not follow a separate and parallel musical scale; it too is a slave to the story, its peaks and troughs, its moments of wisdom, its bad behavior. And people dance, moving enough around the music to inhabit the story." I think this constitutes an explanation of his memoir's form. What a fractured, disjointed mess of a story. He started his story as a boy in Kenya. He took us through to college in South Africa and as a marginally employed writer in Ghana and back in Kenya. I hoped for a picture of life in Kenya. Only in the last 23% (thanks, Kindle) did I get any sort of narrative or commentary I could follow. He loves semicolons, incomplete sentences, a word and a period. Maybe this is the song and all the other stuff from his quote. Very disappointing read.
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