I last bought Harper's Bazaar (or was it Harpers & Queen?) when Salman Rushdie wed Padma Lakshmi in New York and the pictures (featuring writer-wedding goers including Zadie Smith & Kathy Lette) were splashed on the pages of the magazine. Golden couple now blissfully divorced... I bought the magazine again this month, the June issue, after I read on Petina Gappah's blog about a story in there contributed by Orange Prize winner -
(talking of the Orange, how the prize went totally drain-ward this year, with the wholly misguided choice of that embarrassment of a celebrity who's always falling drunk out of clubs, changing clothes on the streets and being pictured with strange stuff seemingly up her nose - as a judge! I'm talking of Lily Allen, who people actually thought was cool. Once. The choice of Allen as judge raised not a few eyebrows - including Maggie Gee's - and apologists used up all their choice words defending the selection. Lily Allen left the Orange with peels only, when she 'dropped out' of the judging panel. Soon after, we learned she'd actually been dropped by the organisation after failing to turn up at judges' panel meetings. She helped 'select' the longlist, apparently - by phone. She more than proved the point some made all along, that she had no place on a literary award judging panel. Ms Allen has gone even more erratic since, only a few shades better than Amy Winehouse. Pity. It shouldn't happen to an Orange Prize judge. Or, it shouldn't have happened to the Orange Prize).
- anyhow, about what we were speaking... I read on Petina Gappah's blog that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has a new short story in the current issue of Harper's Bazaar, so I went and got me a copy. Amarachi is the story, about a young Nigerian woman who comes back home from America for her wedding, all changed (to her mother Mrs Njoku's consternation), and with a Kenyan fiance in tow.
Since 'Amarachi' is all of one page, I don't suppose Harper's will thank me for reproducing the page visually here, but here's an excerpt we typed up earlier:
"They were on their second cups when Sochienne said she wanted to have her wedding at Amarachi, the village house where she had spent her childhood holidays; she preferred a venue of emotional significance to an overpriced gilded hall. Mrs Njoku choked on her tea. The hall was already paid for but, more important, Amarachi was old, the grounds sloped, this was the rainy season and the mud would ruin women's shoes and nobody would take a wedding seriously if it was held in that backwater. Indeed, nobody would come."
Not quite what Mrs Njoku planned for her daughter's wedding. The short-short story is illustrated with images posed by the author herself. It seems she channelled the mother in one image, and the daughter in another. Wordsbody's preferred image is reproduced here. Those wanting to read what happens with the wedding at Amarachi, are to seek out Harper's Bazaar.
From the Luba people of West Africa and elsewhere an ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory - Lynne Kelly writing in *Aeon*: A *lukasa* memory board. *Courtesy Brooklyn Museum/Wikimedia*...the Luba people of West Africa use a well-documented memory...
11 hours ago