Friday, 2 May 2008

Lost Boys, I know what the what is.

The illustration of a man's face with distinctly negroid features drew my attention to this book. The title which at first sounded quite stupid was even less repelling. I knew I had to get this book, even if I wasn't entirely sure what its contents were about. Hey, I guess that makes me sought of literally vain; judging a book by its cover and title (mehn, my first book must def. have a good cover). The book titled What is the What chronicles the life of Achak Deng Valentino, a Sudanese man presently living in the US, from his days running away from his war-stricken southern Sudan, refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya and finally terminating in Atlanta. What is most stricking about the book which is an auto-biography of this Sudanese man, is that it is actually written by a white guy, Dave Eggers and the book is considered fiction. Regardless, of the inaccuracy in some accounts by the narrator, I still feel this book deserves the status of a non-fiction (and it's not that fiction is of any lesser value than non-fiction). This book is well-written with Dave Eggers making good use of language and imagery. Beyond all the literary talk of the book, its message is important. The war which took place in parts of Sudan has certain similarities to the Nigerian Biafran war. There are similarities in that the more vulnerable part of the country (south) was attacked by the all-powerful and Muslim north. The Northern part of Sudan which consisted of mostly Arabs wanted to enforce Islam and sharia on the mostly-christian and north. This consequently caused the uprising of the South in the form of a rebel group (SPLA). And just like the Biafran war and almost every other war, simple and everyday people got thrust into bloody and directionless wars.

Without trying to bore you with all these details, another fascinating part of the book is the question the narrator's father poses to him, after telling the Sudanese folktale, where God decides to give his people cattle (which symbolizes wealth), but with a catch to it. God decided to give them something else which was called the what. He also did not reveal to them what the what was, but asks them to choose between cattle and the enigmatic "what". The Dinka people in their own wisdom choose what is accessible and already revealed. The narrator Achak Deng is fortunate enough to be considered to migrate to the US, however, he is plagued on the morality of leaving his family behind. His father does however convince him to move to the US, telling him that the what, which has been a mystery all this while is the US.

I REFUSED to believe this, due to my disappointment and notion that America and the west in general does not have to be acknowledged for everything good (wetin!!!). Soon, I soothed my nerves and saw the wisdom in the old Dinka man's answer. The US to him was a novel concept. A concept of a place that offered something different and prospects for a better life. He was not saying the US was the enigmatic what, because of his belief of their undoubted superiority, but the fact that life could be better in a place outside his war-thorn and impoverished Southern Sudan.

7 comments:

oakleyses said...

chanel handbags, true religion, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, burberry outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, louboutin shoes, kate spade handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, nike free, michael kors outlet store, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike shoes, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet, jordan shoes, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, red bottom shoes, longchamp outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, coach outlet, nike air max, ray ban outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, coach purses, longchamp handbags

oakleyses said...

longchamp, nike roshe run, barbour, scarpe hogan, oakley pas cher, north face pas cher, ray ban uk, longchamp, nike air max, hollister, hermes pas cher, michael kors uk, guess pas cher, air max, burberry pas cher, ray ban pas cher, louis vuitton uk, tn pas cher, sac michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max, ralph lauren, converse pas cher, timberland, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, michael kors canada, lululemon, sac louis vuitton, hollister, mulberry, louis vuitton pas cher, new balance pas cher, nike air force, vans pas cher, lacoste pas cher, longchamp pas cher, north face, sac vanessa bruno, nike huarache, nike free, chaussure louboutin, air jordan, air max pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike trainers, nike roshe, nike free pas cher, louis vuitton, true religion outlet

oakleyses said...

uggs outlet, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, soccer jerseys, rolex watches, ugg soldes, mont blanc pens, ferragamo shoes, birkin bag, ugg outlet, babyliss pro, north face outlet, north face jackets, p90x workout, moncler, moncler outlet, herve leger, reebok outlet, canada goose, wedding dresses, moncler, abercrombie and fitch, lululemon outlet, celine handbags, valentino shoes, ghd, jimmy choo shoes, insanity workout, new balance outlet, roshe run, uggs on sale, asics shoes, moncler, beats headphones, canada goose outlet, nfl jerseys, canada goose outlet, instyler ionic styler, mac cosmetics, ugg, canada goose pas cher, vans outlet, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, chi flat iron, ugg boots, canada goose uk, hollister

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin uk, cheap oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo outlet, uggs outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, nike free, prada handbags, burberry handbags, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses wholesale, jordan shoes, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, nike air max, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses

oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, north face, nike free run, coach outlet store online, polo lacoste, kate spade, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, hollister uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, north face uk, polo ralph lauren, lululemon canada, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, coach purses, michael kors, nike roshe run uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike tn, vans pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, coach outlet, sac hermes, jordan pas cher, nike free uk, replica handbags, michael kors, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, air max, nike air force, nike air max uk, new balance, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, hogan outlet, louboutin pas cher

oakleyses said...

nike air max, s6 case, ralph lauren, instyler, nfl jerseys, vans outlet, soccer shoes, oakley, iphone 6s cases, nike roshe run, iphone 6 plus cases, mont blanc pens, hollister, nike trainers uk, herve leger, iphone 6s plus cases, north face outlet, beats by dre, hollister clothing, chi flat iron, timberland boots, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 cases, iphone cases, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, insanity workout, babyliss, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, celine handbags, iphone 5s cases, mcm handbags, nike huaraches, ipad cases, p90x workout, reebok outlet, bottega veneta, north face outlet, hermes belt, wedding dresses, lululemon, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti outlet, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, baseball bats, louboutin

oakleyses said...

barbour, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, moncler, canada goose, hollister, louis vuitton, links of london, juicy couture outlet, gucci, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, supra shoes, ray ban, hollister, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg, pandora uk, moncler outlet, ugg uk, louis vuitton, moncler uk, lancel, converse, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, replica watches, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, marc jacobs, doudoune moncler, canada goose, nike air max, toms shoes, swarovski, wedding dresses, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, coach outlet, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, vans, karen millen uk, louis vuitton, pandora charms