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Richard Cumyn: Oji Decides (And More’s the Pity), A Good Name, Yejide Kilanko.

Yejide Kilanko’s latest novel, A Good Name, is a page-turner written in simple, unadorned prose. The novel moves linearly through short chapters without flashback and is so compelling that, for this reader, the writing all but disappears. The story takes on new urgency around a third of the way in, when, after her wedding, an arranged marriage, in the Nigerian village of Oji, 18-year-old Zina travels to Houston, Texas, to join her husband, Eziafa. At first, Zina is excited by the prospect of life in America. Eziafa, 37, originally from Oji, has lived in the U.S.

Brian Bartlett's Reading Recommendation

For many years I’ve immediately re-read poetry books. Some collections pull me back for a deeper appreciation of their language, music and structures; others I find disappointing and frustrating, yet I remain curious enough to give them a second go. Immediate re-reading, however, rarely carries over into my experiences of novels or books of non-fiction (now and then I do read back through short-story collections right away).

J Brooke's Reading Recommendations

My wife and I moved during the pandemic, from the historic house in a former whaling village where we raised our kids to a late 20th Century human terrarium along a river. Every day since moving-in four months ago, I take advantage of the myriad pathways that wind through the woods along the side of our new habitat not facing the river, traversing a couple miles per wander in bucolic bliss. I have seen fox, heard coyotes, come upon wild turkeys congregating in groups larger than I’d imagined turkeys mingled. Neighbors report black bears, but I’ve so far been spared those encounters.


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