You’re always getting into trouble with your damned Dostoevsky

Atiq Rahimi, A Curse on Dostoevsky

In Atiq Rahimi‘s A Curse on Dostoevsky Rahimi reimagines’ Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s Crime and Punishment.* Rassoul murders his girlfriend’s boss in her home with a machete. As he is standing over the dead woman, he notices “the woman’s fleshy hand, which still grips a wad of notes. The money will be bloodstained. (1)” He pauses, unable to move. What does he think about? He and his family is poor, his girlfriend’s family is poor and he is standing above a wealthy woman he just killed. He thinks about:

“Crime and Punishment. That’s right—Raskolnikov, and what became of him.
But didn’t he think of that before, when he was planning the crime?
Apparently not.
Or perhaps that story, buried deep within, incited him to the murder.”

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Too Much to Love and Not Enough Time to Write about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve only read two books by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie: Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. I read Americanah because that was the choice my book club had made. I read Half of a Yellow Sun because Adichie is now one of my favorite writers. The two books I’ve read are hard to describe: in Americanah the Nigerian protagonist goes to school in America and returns to Nigeria. She has a number of relationships. In Half of a Yellow Sun, the book is mostly about two sisters and their relationships with men and other surrounding people in Nigeria during the 1960s. Continue reading →