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2020 Classic Bingo Challenge > O1: Classic of Africa, Antarctica, Australia, or Oceania

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message 1: by J_BlueFlower (last edited Aug 16, 2020 09:56AM) (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1713 comments What are you filling the "O1: Classic of Africa, Antarctica, Australia, or Oceania" field with?

I have already read Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl takes place meanly in Oceania. It is quite good. An adventurous non-fiction with a lot of freedom and open ocean. If anyone is looking for a recommendation, consider Kon-Tiki .

I have also already read On the Beach (takes place in Australia). Strong recommendation.

I am considering A Town Like Alice (Australia) or re-reading The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe. I plan to re-read all of Poe. Most of the work I have only read in Danish translation.


message 2: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1713 comments J.M. Coetzee in from South Africa so Waiting for the Barbarians is also a possibility


message 3: by Aubrey (last edited Aug 16, 2020 11:44AM) (new)

Aubrey (korrick) | 2606 comments I read When Rain Clouds Gather by South African/Botswanan Bessie Head, who wrote long enough ago that most of her works pass the fifty year mark. Some others that I read/am interested in that qualify:

God's Bits of Wood - Ousmane Sembène
Efuru - Flora Nwapa
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born - Ayi Kwei Armah
A Life Full of Holes - Driss ben Hamed Charhadi
Proud Beggars - Albert Cossery
The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - Amos Tutuola
The Radiance of the King - Camara Laye

I'd also consider anything by the aforementioned Head, Yvonne Vera, Wole Soyinka, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Nawal El Saadawi, Radwa Ashour, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as classic, regardless of publication year.

More recent individual works worthy of mention:
The Sand Child - Tahar Ben Jelloun
Maps - Nuruddin Farah
So Long a Letter - Mariama Bâ

There's also the list of Africa's 100 Best 20th c. works: https://www.listchallenges.com/africa...


message 4: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1713 comments Thank you.

God's Bits of Wood is on the 1001-list.


message 5: by Brina (new)

Brina Aubrey, I am excited over your list. For some reason, I thought I read When Rain Clouds Gather and checked and I had only read Maru. Filing for next year along with some of these other gems.


message 6: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (korrick) | 2606 comments J_BlueFlower wrote: "Thank you.

God's Bits of Wood is on the 1001-list."


My pleasure. That one got a five star from me, and I hear the film's phenomenal too (Sembène was primarily a film director/producer).

Brina wrote: "Aubrey, I am excited over your list. For some reason, I thought I read When Rain Clouds Gather and checked and I had only read Maru. Filing for next year along with some of these other gems."

Glad to hear it, Brina. Also, those two works by Head are often packaged together, so that may be the source of your confusion.


message 7: by Brina (new)

Brina I have read Xala by Sembene for an A to Z challenge and found it intriguing. Would be interesting in seeing his films.

I checked my library, there is one edition of Maru/Rain Clouds together and then separately. That clarifies the confusion.

Agree what Chimamanda’s books will eventually be called classics. Another author I enjoyed was Mariama Ba.

The ones on that list that look interesting are Turuola and Laye but all seem like I should try them. And my 2021 tbr was long enough.


message 8: by Annette (new)

Annette | 526 comments Aubrey wrote: "I read When Rain Clouds Gather by South African/Botswanan Bessie Head, who wrote long enough ago that most of her works pass the fifty year mark. Some others that I read..."

Thanks for the listchallenges list, Aubrey. I love book lists! I've only read 2 books on that one. For my O1 spot, I read Sosu's Call (one of the books on that listchallenge!) and then I added July's People because Sosu's Call was so short... which lead me to The Grass Is Singing. I keep going down roads away from the books I had originally planned to read! But what great detours!


message 9: by Brina (new)

Brina Annette, how did you like July’s People? I read it I think two years ago. Now even more books to detour with.


message 10: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (korrick) | 2606 comments Cheers, Annette. I'm quite the list fiend, and List Challenges suits my purposes far better than GR does. No fear of illiterates adding irrelevant nonsense to one's creations.


message 11: by Annette (new)

Annette | 526 comments Brina wrote: "Annette, how did you like July’s People? I read it I think two years ago. Now even more books to detour with."

I really enjoyed July's People. It was written as a dystopian novel but now it's historical fiction -- I love it!


message 12: by J_BlueFlower (last edited Aug 16, 2020 12:58PM) (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1713 comments Annette wrote: "I really enjoyed July's People. It was written as a dystopian novel but now it's historical fiction -- I love it! "

Wow!

Link: July's People by Nadine Gordimer. Also a 1001-book. I think I have found my O1.

"The book was notably banned in South Africa after its publication, and later under the post-Apartheid government." A bingo friendly book. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July%27...


message 13: by Brina (new)

Brina Ha! That’s why I liked it. I don’t really like dystopian books but I thought it was historical fiction. I hope you enjoy it J_Blueflower.


message 14: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 125 comments I read July's People three years ago and I remember thinking it was a great depiction of human interactions. There's a lot of tension and restless inactivity that's unspoken but comes out in the characters' behaviours and in the style of writing.

I re-read Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda for this prompt and enjoyed it. I first read it when I was quite young and didn't really understand it then.


message 15: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 1713 comments Here is another possibility:
Minutes of Glory by Kenyan Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Originally published in 1976.

Mentioned in
https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...
as one of 50 best ever short stories.


message 16: by Annette (last edited Sep 28, 2020 08:30AM) (new)

Annette | 526 comments I finished The Grass Is Singing -- also a possibility in this category. It was probably quite realistic but I liked Sosu's Call and July's People much more.


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Slater (yohanan) | 346 comments I won't be re-reading (or finishing reading) these late Victorian books on West Africa any time soon, but others may find them interesting. Mary Kinglsley, the author, would herself be an interesting study (and has been: there are several biographies, the best of which may be A Voyager Out: The Life of Mary Kingsley, by Katherine Frank.)

Travels in West Africa and
West African Studies

There are copies available through the Internet Archive, but it is a little tricky getting a clean copy while avoiding the abridged edition of the "Travels" (unless you want it, which you may when you see how long the full text is).

Travels in West Africa: Congo Francais, Gorisco and Cameroons, third edition, with a new introduction: apparently the complete 1897 first edition text (800 pages), not the 1900 abridged version ("merely" 500 pages).

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet....

West African Studies. 1899. Third edition (from the second, expanded, edition, 1901, with a new introduction), 595 pages

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet....

The introductions to the versions I noted contain biographical and critical material of note, but there is a Wikipedia article that is immediately accessible.

Kingsley was an acute observer of fauna and flora. She sometimes reflects typical Victorian attitudes towards Africans -- although in some cases she seems to be ironic -- but mostly she treats them simply as interesting people, with cultures of their own, which should be protected from the pernicious influence of missionaries and other agents of imperialism. (One journalist who was a cheerleader for the Empire flatly refused to review her first book.)

She looked more favorably on independent traders, who actually got to know their customers, even if they were selling them gin. ("Trade Gin," according the missionaries -- she had it analyzed, and it was exactly the same gin as was being sold in England, with no adulterants, and at full strength...)

(Bottles of gin, as a non-perishable consumable, may have been serving as currency in the local economies, and not drunk nearly as often as sales would indicate.)


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