Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Short Story: You in America by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Taken from Zoestrope All-Story, You in America by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, explores a Nigerian Igbo immigrant girl's experience in the US. This was nominated for the Caine Prize in 2002.

Here the girl is talking in first person.

"You believed that everybody in America had a car and a gun. Your uncles and aunts and cousins believed it too. Right after you won the American visa lottery, they told you, "In a month, you will have a big car. Soon, a big house. But don't buy a gun like those Americans."

Here she speaks about how she is watched with curiosity, how people assume certain things, how no one wants to know what part of Africa she belongs to. She does meet a man who is knowledgeable. He interests her.

"And you knew you had become close when you told him that your father was really not a school teacher in Lagos, that he was a taxi driver. And you told him about that day in Lagos traffic in your father's car, it was raining and your seat was wet because of the rust-eaten hole in the roof."

This story is told in a simple way but is very well worded without any loose ends. One dwells into her mind and speculates what is like to be her, of a different skin colour in the land of Whites. A story not to be missed....