Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Adichie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adichie. Show all posts

18 March, 2017

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Apollo"

The story is told some twenty years later from the viewpoint, first person, of Okenwa. He visits his elderly parents on a regular basis and on one of the trips he learned that Raphael was an armed robber. Then the story launches into the history of Raphael, their housekeeper, and Okenwa's lie. The lie has haunted him into adulthood.

The story takes place in Enugu, Nigeria. The story has a nice sense of place and builds the relationship between Raphael and Okenwa and their mutual love for Bruce Lee and so when the betrayal occurs, it's a blow and it's clear why it's haunted him all the ensuing years.

The theme is about how things we've said or things we should've said but didn't can change a person's life and can haunt a person with guilt. Words do matter, especially when one person has more power than the other. The portrayal of aging is treated with respect and kindness, yet honestly.

"Apollo" was first published in The New Yorker, April 13, 2015, and then included in the Best American Short Stories, 2016. Link to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's website.