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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Books That Invite Us to Step into the World

November 9, 2017  

Here is a link to a discussion guide for A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo:

November 9, 2017

Jantra:  Octavia, I took a break from the book for a week. So much horror, violence, acceptance and Stockholm syndrome within the stories. I realize this is shared personal, intimate and real life experiences. Will resume reading in a few days. Author has a strong ability to make you feel the pain and horrors of the individuals who lived those experiences.

Octavia: You definitely have to take breaks. I have. I was expecting a different narrative.  I am so tired of this doom and gloom when it comes to Africa.

Jantra: The doom and gloom had to be told in order to show the full journey to amazing outcomes. But yes, short breaks are a requirement.

November 4, 2017

The following is a text conversation about A Starless, Moonless Sky with fellow 
club member Mona. Granted, my comments/reactions are based on the first two
sections and I am still open to this book bringing me a little light and 
shedding light on the vast complexity that is Africa; an Africa that is not all 
doom and gloom.
Mona: Did you send me the book?
Octavia: Let's talk at 10. I have your book. I thought I would see you by now. 
Octavia: ...I am having trouble with this book; you really need to be part of
 the conversation, especially when we tape the discussion.
Mona: Ok. MARVA said it is depressing...
Octavia: You have this young Nigerian-American woman who works for the New 
Yorker and I am expecting some exciting, nuanced, insightful commentary about 
the places shes writes.
Octavia: She is a lightweight who thinks she is a heavyweight.  Just exclusively 
highlighting the grossest events, without any historical, colonial and 
neo-colonial context.
Octavia: Marva is right. It is depressing. And we should call her on it for 
 putting out this kind of shit. Of course NPR and all the other liberal media love
 it. I have my problems with NPR.
Octavia : Thank god for folks like Chimamanda and many more who showcase 
the humanity and complexity of their particular African spaces alongside Africa’s
 challenges .
Octavia: The author of this book is still talking about Joseph Kone in Uganda 
and rapists and rape victims forming "beautiful" love stories. Nothing yet about the 
American fundamentalist, ring-wing  religious groups which have a strong presence 
in  Ugandan society and who have been creating all kinds of seeds of  discord.
Want to go back in history, talk about the heydays of Makerere University
I will try to have it read by Monday I guess you should get it Sunday 

Octavia: This is the heart of darkness all over again!

November 3, 2017 
Members are invited to share their comments and reactions to  A Moonless, Starless Sky, by Alexis Okeowo, as they read this book. We will meet in a few weeks to discuss the book; a discussion that will be taped and shared. Today we received comments from Jantra who shared:

I am on page 52, reading the first part to the second story. Octavia, what amazing and heart breaking testimonies from theses 2 ladies on the horrors of their lives and how they held their heads high and continued to endured. To know the stories are real is very humbling.

November 3, 2017
Alexis Okeowo speaks on stage during The 2017 New Yorker Festival at Gramercy Theatre on October 6, 2017 in New York City.Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The New Yorker
Melissa Block talks to Alexis Okeowo author of A Moonless, Starless Sky. Among the stories, a Somali girl defies al-Shabab and plays basketball, and a Mauritanian man campaigns against slavery. Here is the link:

October 30, 2017
Here is one of our members, Marsha, gleefully receiving her copy of  A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo.  

October 23, 2017

I am excited to announce that  Eyes on the World Book Club selection this cycle is A Moonless, Starless Sky;  Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism is Africa by Alexis Okeowo, published by Hachette Books, October 2017.  Follow us along this journalistic journey as we share our insights and reactions to this work. Look out for our culminating event, where members will meet to discuss this book in one of our city's spectacular venues. Now, I am off to mail members their books.

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