News Brief

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Pierces the Veil of Donald Trump’s Private Life in a New Short Story

The celebrated Nigerian novelist Adichie produces a new short story on the American election for The New York Times book review.

In a brilliant move, The New York Times Book Review asked acclaimed Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to pen an original short story about the U.S. election. It’s part of series that will continue into the fall.


The election has provided a lot of fodder for fiction. For Adichie, the natural choice was to pierce the veil of Donald Trump’s private life with Arrangements.

Adichie, whose short story Monday of Last Week is being adapted into a film (could this be next?), presents a simple narrative from the perspective of Melania, Trump’s wife, as she makes arrangements to order “unusal orchids” for her parents’ 50th anniversary party.

From Adichie’s imagining of the Trump’s domestic life, we learn that Melania is an agreeable wife, sensitive to her husband’s fragile ego that is ever in need of praise. The entertaining American election serves as a mere backdrop to the quaintness of their personal life.

If you’re expecting a heavy dose of drama, beyond Melania’s strained relationship with her step daughter, Ivanka, sibling rivalries and the angst of a trophy wife married to a true narcissist who intimately understands how to delicately walk on eggshells, then you may want to turn the TV on and watch Trump blabber on CNN instead. But if you’re a true fan of Adichie’s style of fiction that nails the minutiae of the mise-en-scene, then enjoy.

Here’s an excerpt, and if you’re feelin’ it, then read the rest here :

When she had first told him “you will win,” that balmy day in Florida last year,

drinking Diet Coke in tennis whites, she had meant he would win at what he wanted: the publicity, the ego polish. It would help his TV show, and impress those business associates tickled by fame. But she had never meant he would actually win the Republican primary, nor had she expected the frenzy of media coverage he received. Americans were so emotionally young, so fascinated by what Europeans knew to be world-weary realities. They were drawn to Donald’s brashness and bluster and bullying, his harsh words, even the amoral ease with which untruths slid out of his mouth. She viewed these with a shrug — he was human, and he had his good points, and did Americans truly not know that human beings told lies? But they had followed him from the beginning, breathlessly and childishly. There were days when every television channel she switched to had his image on the screen. They did not understand that what he found unbearable was to be ignored, and for this she was grateful, because being in the news brought Donald the closest he could be to contentment. He would never be a truly content person, she knew this, because of that primal restlessness that thrummed in him, the compulsion to prove something to himself that he feared he never would. It moved her, made her feel protective. Even the way he nursed his grudges, almost lovingly, unleashing in great detail slights from 20 years ago, made her protective of him. She often felt, despite the age gap of more than two decades, that she was older than Donald. Her response to his

agitations was a curated series of soothing murmurs. Be a little calmer, she told him often. In bed, she had learned to gauge Donald and know when he expected her to gasp. On nights when she did not have the mental energy to act, she would tell Donald, “It is not a good night today,” and he would kiss her cheek and leave, because he liked her air of delicate mystery.

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Wavy the Creator x WurlD, Epoque, Tems, Silverstone Barz, Kofi Jamar, Olamide x Jaywillz and more