La Bastarda: A Novel by Trifonia Melibea Obono

. “If you don’t have a name, you’re invisible, and if you’re invisible, you can’t claim any rights. Besides, the offensive label man-woman implies disdain toward women. It reduces them to passive sexual objects that never act on their own desires. Think about it. From what I can see you’re no fool.”

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although this short novel consists of 120 pages it contains Adultery,incest,polygamy.sexual orgy and many other sexual conducts

we fallow the story of the young orphaned teenage girl Okomo who in the beginning of the novel infuriates her grandfather just by asking him where and who is her father and just after this simple question this novel progresses as the the young girl becomes obsessed in discovering who is her father.

what happens after that question is that her grandfather calls the family four council but since he is very old the meeting topic changes from how to change our protagonist behavior to venerating her grandfathers which consisted of

he described the honorable life of Beká, the patriarch of our lineage. His existence had been so fruitful that he brought thirty men and forty women into the world, in addition to fighting against the mitangan occupation.

although the author of the novel comes from West Africa and i am from East Africa just like the novel i remembered when i was young and listened to my grandfather stories when he was young  most of the time they all consisted of him killing  people to protect his herd of Camels or dwindling pool of water,i guess some norms in Africa can be found in any corner of it.

she meets then her uncle who her tribe calls him MAN Women because he was queer and didn’t wanted to marry or impregnate women as his tribe wanted to do it, and this made the tribe hate and scorn him and eventually tries to kill him.

since this is a short novel which consist of 120 pages i don’t want to ruin your reading of it and so didn’t reveal what happens to our protagonist but the story has happy ending

although this was short novel it really was an eye opener on what it means to be queer and African at the same time and how in some societies which are very ignorant being homosexual can make your life horrible and how still many African societies and head of states usually autocratic see LGBTQ as threat and something that was parachuted from Europe to Africa not something organic.

the last note i wanna add to this small review is how many societies including my own uses Corrective Rape as something which they believe will heal women from being Lesbian which is another painful practices many societies use against women suspected of being lesbian.

But what really made me glad was how the protagonist and other characters eventually left their village to forest where they were free from small minded village people and how they respected  their new home they become vegetarian and don’t kill forest animals

The forest was the only refuge for those who had no place in Fang tradition, like me. I’m a bastarda, a Fang woman; I’m a bastarda, daughter of an unmarried Fang woman; I’m a bastarda, a lesbian.

La Bastarda: A Novel

by Trifonia Melibea Obono translated Lawrence Schimel

Published April 17th 2018 by Feminist Press

120 pages and is $14.65

Amazon link

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some stuff that is happening in my life

one of the hardest facts that i have to accept now days is that am losing my sight in a faster rate that i had expected and this sudden deterioration of my eyes has forced me to stop the only thing i know and loved in the world which is reading and since the doctors has warned me from prolonged reading on Kindle it forced me use my time in other stuff which requires not much of my eyes.

i feel little bit angry  and honestly scared of my upcoming loss of sight and sometimes i wonder why this happened while i am still relatively young since i am 24 years old but also why this sickness hinders me from the only thing i knew and loved to do which is reading  also am trying to accept this fact and trying to focus in doing other stuff like socializing and playing sports and exerting little pressure on my eyes

am not good at expressing what i feel and thinking so i thought a little writing in my sight could help and release me from this depression because of lack of reading as much as i used to.

And sorry if i ruined your day and depressed you but somehow i hope this post reminds you how much precious is being able to read since not many people are able to read and those able to read don’t like to read

Banthology Stories From Banned Nations edited by Sarah Cleave

 

Reading can be an escape, something transportative that takes you to different countries, cultures and states of mind.  It can take you to all the places that Donald Trump doesn’t want you to go.

cover

 

in January 2017 Us President issued an executive order which called  Executive Order 13769 which later was called the Muslim Ban which prohibited citizens from seven countries from entering US for 90 days and these nations were  Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

well since i am Somali i really felt sorry for how US government saw us never rethink how this ban would affect many US citizens who originally were from these nations, what made America very appealing to many people around the world is now days slowly burning and with every news brief i see i see America i read about metamorphosing into something uncanny and unappealing to any one.

Just as i finished my university degree and though about traveling outside to discover countries and  other cultures  and maybe start my Master outside the country i discovered the meaning of being citizen of failed state which was unpleasant fact of being refused to enter many nations and many nations requires so many documents and exams which is unavailable currently in my country so the ban made the idea of traveling to US less appealing and released me from the elusive dream of visiting there.

but even the Ban will not hopefully affect my love for literature and my curiosity to learn about and hopefully will not affect how we see each other and treat each other.

the book first edition release coincided initially with the Trump travel ban although the ban has gone though many changes since then and the idea of the book was to give these seven nations some representation and who rump collectively see them as Terrorist,

Comma Press has commissioned seven writers from these nation to write in response to Trump Travel ban and the writers were asked to write books which explore themes of Exile, exile, travel, and restrictions on movement”.

the contributors to these book

  • Wajdi al-Ahdal
  • Rania Mamoun
  • Anoud
  • Fereshteh Molavi
  • Najwa Binshatwan
  • Zaher Omareen
  • Ubah Cristina Ali Farah

BIRD OF PARADISE by Rania Mamoun is a Sudanese author, journalist, and activist and this story describes young female who is trapped in Airport with no food and only survives in drinking water from tab and how her life in rural Sudan were and how her older dominated and affected her life choices, and now she is stuck in airport with she do not intend to leave but also unable to live in it since she is broke.

The good thing about airports is the freedom to sit wherever you like; no one asks you to leave or to move on. I sit here day in, day out, utterly bereft of everything. The few coins I brought with me are already spent and my pockets are now empty. I ate my last biscuit two days ago; half in the morning, half in the evening. All that remains is regret.

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SMUGGLING by Zaher Omareen who is is a Syrian writer and researcher based in London and this story describes young Syrian who tries to migrate from Greece to France to Sweden and this one was the most funniest story in the anthology

The day of the trip, I prayed two rak’as1 for good luck and made my way to the airport. This was the only kind of relationship I’d had with God since I was a child: a strictly beneficial one. If I passed an exam, I gave a bit of money to the mosque. If I failed, they didn’t get a penny.

but the most depressing story in the anthology is RETURN TICKET by Najwa Binshatwan is a Libyan academic, novelist and playwright.

the story describes the village of Schrödinger which is cosmic anomaly and the city is able to fly and move around the world and space except for the US whose wall is getting higher and higher that even the town is unable to hover around it for too long and since the town tries every time to return the remains of six American tourists ye each time they fail because the wall is getting higher and higher and even the dead American are giving a voice and each console himself that they died before

‘It’s good that we died before America’s prison warden came to power.’

although this anthology is really short but it shows you literature from countries no one to visit or know about them and since this is my first introduction to Comma Press