Happiness, Like Water

by Chinelo Okparanta

A collection of ten touching contemporary short stories about the lives and struggles of Nigerian women based in Nigeria and America – the land of opportunity. I enjoyed the author’s simple and quiet style, which conveys some powerful and troubling imagery. The stories share similar themes linking them together and providing an interesting insight into Nigerian culture.


My first day back in Uniport was about a month after Mama’s discharge. I spent most of that day in a daze, not really hearing the lecturers, not taking notes in class. Outside the lecture halls, I gazed at the other students, the wealthy ones who wore shiny shoes on their feet and, on their ears, tiny Bluetooth headsets – those wireless square buds barely noticeable from a distance. I watched transfixed by the way they displayed their wealth, the men swaggering, limping slightly on one leg, as if the leg were weak and dragged – in imitation of the way the American rap stars walked.


The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In Love and Trouble by Alice Walker

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