Concept 5 starsExecution 1 starThe idea is pretty straightforward set a novel in a parallel reality where the Global South and North are flipped where Americans and Japanese and Western Europeans rely on handouts from Haitians and Ethiopians and Vietnamese for subsistence Great lens through which to examine racism and xenophobia Not uite a novel not uite a collection of essays the book is loosely arranged around the life of Malaika Maya a white woman adopted as a child by a wealthy African doctor and his wife who live in the capital There s a lot of potential here but the book reads like Waberi ot the idea for this novel wrote out a list of 40 or so really ood insightful sometimes witty points he
D LIKE TO MAKE IN THE like to make in the and then the follow through just kind of collapsed It seems like he tackled the ideas individually turning each into a chapter anywhere from a paragraph to 10 pages long and didn t bother to tie most of them together or even flesh out the individual chapters The choppy style is rating as soon as you start to appreciate the topic fetishization of the exotic white woman in fashion or Maya s sense of displacement when she interacts with poor white refugees in the capital or leftist students volunteering in war torn Ontario it s over and not just over but dropped for conquest and community:the afterlife of warrior saint ghazi miyan good The voice of the book is confusingly inconsistent the narrator talks to Maya in the second person serves as a third person omniscient for much of the book and is replaced unexpectedly by newspaper reviews or the crumpled poetic manifesto found on a dead refugee s body I honestly feel like Iot out of hearing that this book existed than I did out of reading it i did have a reat being confronted with did have a reat Being Confronted With Privilege in 90 Seconds Or Less moment when I found myself debating whether or not to shelve this under dystopia But again that s the concept at work not the execution I love this book and I feel it s somehow not making it s way to the readers who would appreciate it which is a shame When I ordered it based on the synopsis I was expecting something like a cross between Tale of Two Cities and Les Miserables I was excited to see how an African author would imagine an African utopia and how his destitute Europe would accord with the one we know from historyIt was uickly brought home to me that wasn t what
I would be etting If I can drop a few names Jeanette Winterson Italo Calvino if you would be etting If I can drop a few names Jeanette Winterson Italo Calvino if you that rather post modern poetic not too long kind of stuff full of cultural allusion and ames with texts you may well like this The west Africa reversal isn t meant to feel natural neither are the characters and their actions I enjoy reading that kind of literature so it ot five stars from meAs examples one of the nice things about the book is the endless stream of allusions to figures from African or African Diaspora history and culturewith token white peoplethough not everyone is in their original role Several Afr. E se noi fossimo loro Se la nostra vita fosse la loro vita In uesto nuovo romanzo Abdourahman A Waberi inventa un mondo alla rovescia uno specchio in cui si riflettono capovolti i luoghi comuni le credenze i rapporti di forza più sedimentati; una eografia del dominio in cui Nord e Sud si sono scambiati di posto Da una parte la ricca moderna e potente federazione degli Stati Unit. .
Ere isn t really enough of a narrative to it for my taste though and it s pretty heavy handed But ver Great concept very poorly executed If you can find just the first chapter do read it but the rest is very choppy and disconnected Really liked the idea of this but the writing style was hard to et into In this short novel the roles of Africa and the West EuropeUSA are reversed Africa plays the part of wealth and empire and the West is a poverty ridden failure These two leviathans of history transvestite share a woman it is her story that We Follow Her Origins In follow Her origins in ravaged Europe eclipsed after being nurtured in the bosom of fortunate Africa she returns to the land of her birth to find herself It s all been told before the tension between civilization and savagery that tears at the civilized soul a tension that never seems to resolve be it spanned in three dimensional Avatars coated in essential oils or contorted with yogic diligence It s a clich composed of clich s this return to the primitive a fractal tapestry of narrative fantasy that blankets our uilty souls Perhaps our
Easy Station Is Butstation is but lucky residue of a sift for old from a river of blood No matter as Heraclitus once said You could not step twice into the same river for other waters are ever flowing on to you In the United States of Africa is an examination of cultural narrative In the end much of In the United States of Africa is an examination of cultural narrative In the end much of is typically said starts to seem a little ridiculous too conventional too little about realityEven though I really enjoy the work of Ryszard Kapu ci ski it was cute seeing him portrayed as a smug little boy who tells lies because he can Really Creating Chicago's North Shore: A Suburban History good and really hard to read in that the ideas are very challenging personally It is aood and insightful look at the world as it is by looking through a looking Couplings glass at a world almost identical to our except for certaineographical specifics The character of Yacuba the poor Swiss worker who can only be pitied for coming from a place so tragically divided by languages cultures and unarable uninhabitable eography is a ringing rebuttal of using those factors and reasons for Africa suffering from poverty war disease and the like When the poor immigrants in the store are characters like me it is hard to hear the discussions in the novel about how they should be sent away because the well off can t be expected to care for them all and then it is convicting to know I have sometimes agreed with similar sentiments about immigrants who are not like me Challenging in a really excellent way I just did not like this book I had it as part of my uest to read a book by an author from every country in the world There may be to the story than I understand there are probably references to people and things that I am not familiar with But I agree with what other reviewers have written It is almost as though the author jotted down notes thoughts he wanted to expand on and then just published those. Il personaggio di Maya condotta dalla Francia ad Asmara all'età di pochi mesi e cresciuta in una famiglia adottiva Ancora bambina Maya scoprirà il colore della sua pelle e la consapevolezza di uesta anomalia la spingerà a intraprendere un viaggio a ritroso verso l'Europa in cui è nata un appuntamento doloroso ma inevitabile con la propria storia l'identità la madre le origini.
Abdourahman A. Waberi ↠ 7 charactersIcan American literati seem to have become DJs for example But if he s missing say an African first man on the moon he just makes one up He takes bits of the Western discourse on Africa and cheerfully copies it over to his imaginary Africa without worrying too much about making it look seamless It felt a bit like watching a puppet show stylised funny with much use of found materials in which the puppet master himself plays a prominent and uite humorous role It s a feeling intensified by the fact that the book is not so much written in the second person as it consists of the author narrator addressing his heroine in the imperativeThe other thing I think worth knowing with regard to the translation is that his west transposed to Africa Is Very French As A Representation is very French As a representation France French discourse on Africa French peoples views of themselves even down to the circumstances of Malaika s life the central character it s a fair and reasonably accurate portrayal English speakers in Britain and the US will be justified in not recognizing themselves or their cultures which complicates the reversal Whilst the concept behind this book seemed very interesting Africa as the developed world versus the underdeveloped northern nationsSadly it turned out to be a disappointing read I found the style of writing difficult to follow as it is a collection of satirical tales rather than a specific story Very interesting speculativealternate history novel where countries of the African continent have been united into one federally run superpower This flips the narrative and puts Europe the US Australia etc into the place of the developing world I learned from a fellow bookseller who spent a year working with an orphanage in Djibouti where the author was borngrew up that the country is closely linked to France ie only French families can adopt children from Djibouti which makes sense with the French oriented plot of the novel The ideas and world created by Waberi was very intriguing with a lot of moving parts and I was disappointed that the novel was so slim only about 120 pages in the US translation I would have loved time to explore all the parts of the world rather than intermittently follow the main character I think the narrative thread of the book is hard to follow too due to THE AUTHOR S CHOICE TO USE author s choice to use 2nd person narration the I seems to be the author and the you is the young woman MayaMalaika and it jumps around uite a bit I think a story collection set in this world by Waberi would
be phenomenal It s a very compelling concept and I would certainly read it again History happened somewhat differentlyphenomenal It s a very compelling concept and I would certainly read it again History happened somewhat differently that in the contemporary world the United States of Africa is the stable economic superpower caucasions from Europe and the rest of the west are fleeing poverty and turmoil to it s shores and the international economic language Ahmharic I think The book is super short and like I said I would read it again Th. I d'Mrica con le sue metropoli le sue industrie i suoi centri finanziari le sue organizzazioni umanitarie Dall'altra un'Europa e un'America dilaniate dalle uerre etniche segnate dalla miseria dalle malattie e dalla fame che scaricano ogni D'Albuquerque's Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia's Portuguese Settlement giorno sulle coste africane centinaia di disperati dalla pelle bianca e dai vestiti laceri in cerca di futuro In bilico tra uesti due universi.