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Had to get my desktop pc fixed and upgraded, battle to get back into Delphi -- it doesn't like Chrome and I no longer have Mozilla Firefox.
Yes, I saw those Mid-West flood reports. Out here of course there is no established rescue back-up in place (and these cyclones are not frequent), no insurance to pay for rebuilding, no infrastructure in rural areas, and deforestation has contributed to the severity of the flooding.
Hoping your spring is lovely. Out here it is now cooler and the tree foliage changing colour. Very pleasant.
Good to see you back, unfortunately, you didn't miss much - we are getting a few visitors but no new posts.
It's not clear that the situation is the midwest is a whole lot better than in Africa - though people have more money. Evidently the levees in the midwest are not maintained in any kind of coordinated manner - some are local, some are state and some are federal and many haven't been maintained in years. Coupled with floods from previous years and falling grain prices because of the trade war with China, it looks like many farms may go under. It's just a hard time to be in rural America.
On a completely different note, I wonder if you have read Salman Rushdie's review in the NYT of Namwali Serpil's book The Old Drift? He mentions a number of women African authors and I wonder what you think of them?
Also, I just read Great Expectations again - I don't think I've read it since college. And I came across this amazing passage
"Miss Skiffs brewed such a jorum of tea, that the pig in the back premises became strongly excited, and repeatedly expressed his desire to participate in the entertainment."
I just can't imagine coming up with something like this.
Yes, Dickens has so many superb sentences and micro vignettes in all his novels. Bleak House, turgid as they come, has some brilliant passages describing the house as if it was a living breathing character. I have read Great Expectations a few times along with the various reincarnations of Magwitch in Australian literature as the philanthropic convict. Unforgettable characters, not least because they are so much larger than life,looming archetypes for a child at bedtime.
I know all the writers Rushdie mentioned and many, many more. Old Drift is the first novel of its kind to come out of Zambia (once part of the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland), a retelling and deconstructing of colonial myths, but I'm also looking forward to Petina Gappah's Out of Darness, Shining Light which tells the story of David Livingstone's missionary journeys through the eyes of his black companions and guides. I'm sure you've read Chimamanda Agozi Ndichie from Nigeria, perhaps the most gifted and accessible of these writers. And I love Marlene van Niekerk's Agaat (published in the UK as Among the Women) set in my corner of southern Africa and an experimental literary tour de force.
I'll take a look at some of these, I haven't actually read too many African authors.
I have been reading a number of Vietnamese authors, memoirs and fiction to see the "other" side of that story.
I also recently read Flower Drum Song by by CY Lee - not a great novel but an interesting picture of San Francisco Chinatown in the 50s with all Chinese characters.
Yes, there are some great Vietnamese and Asian writers emerging with a very different perspective on the conflicts of the 1960s. I like the poetry of Ocean Vuong.
You didn't tell me Peter Acroyd's biography of Dickens was a thousand pages long! I wish I could have gotten it on my Kindle.
Oh sorry, Brian, mea culpa! I'd forgotten.
Um, do tell me how you find it once the crick of neck strain and elbow ache wears off.
This won't be bedtime reading.
Just popping in here to send festive greetings to regulars and those lurking.
May we all have a sober and peaceful 2020
xMary in Africa