Becoming And Other Stories
A bold and intriguing short story collection by an audacious writer. More
A stunning short story collection from an audacious writer. In these mesmeric stories, K. A. Benneh highlights the various interactions that occur between individuals and their societies; especially in various degrees of community and family clashes. Intense and insightful, inundated with desire, grief, loyalty and betrayal, these stories paint a picture with emotional wisdom, with wit, with quite the brilliance.
K. A Benneh chronicles the not so talked about parts of history, infused with the not so talked about moments of modern day Diaspora. In “Omo Ghana” in particular, the quest for survival of a young Ghanaian couple which had moved to Nigeria in the 1980’s, fleeing the famine and strife back home caused by a military junta that wrestled itself into political power. In “1948” the struggle for political independence begins, locals are beginning to discover their barbaric abilities. Maybe it’s oppression that does this to them, that pushes the limits placed on sanity. It is both emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. In “I do say I do not,” a mother objects to her son’s choice of a wife, and subtly condescends to her, rendering her irrelevant in her eyes.
As this collection arcs between Africa and the U.S., K. A. Benneh demonstrates a keen insight into the complex mold of human character which is beset by flaws, fears and religious beliefs. The most powerful stories in this collection depict immensely troubled characters fighting to unwind the mess they find themselves in. They are caught on the margins of right and wrong, and the swapping lenses with which one interprets when something is right or wrong.
Benneh demonstrates that he is adroit in drawing the perpetual personal confusion that erupts in communal chaos, in family discord, and in the petulance that often lodges itself in one’s soul. A very strong collection. Bold and endearing, startling and rousing, Becoming and Other Stories is the work of an obviously gifted writer at the peak of his powers.
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