Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Short Story Review

Blurb from Goodreads

THE EMOTIONAL STORMS WEATHERED BY A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER YIELD A PROFOUND NEW UNDERSTANDING IN A MOVING SHORT STORY BY THE BESTSELLING, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF ‘AMERICANAH’ AND ‘WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS’.

When Zikora, a DC lawyer from Nigeria, tells her equally high-powered lover that she’s pregnant, he abandons her.

But it’s Zikora’s demanding, self-possessed mother, in town for the birth, who makes Zikora feel like a lonely little girl all over again.

Shunned by the speed with which her ideal life fell apart, Zikora turns to reflecting on her mother’s painful past and struggle for dignity.

Preparing for motherhood, Zikora begins to see more clearly what her own mother wants for her, for her new baby, and for herself.

My Review

Even in the shortest of stories Adichie says so much with her writing. Her prose, always sharp and witty, is capable of eliciting belly laughs that are tinged with deep pain because this is the heart of humanity laid bare by the author’s hand.

Here Adichie writes the truth of women with amazing incisiveness and breathtaking ease. This story is so thought provoking. It explores the identity of women in their variety of roles: mother, wife, daughter… how female lives are still moored in the patriarchal traditions no matter how much they think they resist.

The main character of Zikora is a compelling blend of strength and vulnerability. Her relationship with the father of her child, her mother, her father… all are explored with a most penetrating gaze that can’t fail to leave the reader quietly contemplative of their own personal relationships upon completion of the read.

A flawless story.

”Ours was an ancient story, the woman wants the baby and the man doesn’t want the baby and a middle ground does not exist. What would a middle ground be? We couldn’t have half a baby.”

3 thoughts on “Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Short Story Review

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