Wednesday, June 24, 2009

IN DAYS TO COME: A review by Ketki Yennemadi

Book:IN DAYS TO COME (Collection of Poems)
Author: Jennifer Ehidiamen
Publisher: The Young Poet Society U.K
Year: 2004

A review by Ketki Yennemadi

No sinuous rhymes and no syrupy language. Yet with her first book "In days to come" Jennifer Ehidiamen strikes a chord. "In Days To Come" is a collection of poems that put into words the life in Lagos. The words blend beautifully with the theme to present a picture which is beautiful and yet so achingly human. The simple words and a heavy use of blank verse make emotions stir in the heart of the reader.

It will be untrue to say that all the poems are an exemplary of poetic writing as there is always room for improvement. However one cannot belittle her talent of putting her thoughts into words to create a picture in the mind of the reader which is no small feat for a first-timer. It an admirable attempt at putting forth a plight of people, today, in Lagos.

This anthology of touching poetic compositions by Ehidiamen shows obvious talent and intention. With their simplicity and profoundness of the poems all the poetry lovers have definitely witnessed the dawn of a poetry star!

Ketki Yennemadi

Monday, June 22, 2009

TIME: June 22 edition review

The June 22nd edition of Time Magazine...Did you read a copy? Well, what attracted me to this edition is actually not the bold picture of Gordon Brown’s back that compliments the headline “Why Britian wants to see The Back of Gordon Brown” but the earpiece headline on the right corner of the front cover- Amazon’s Quest to Shape the Future of Books. As a matter of fact, it is a very critical story that deserves a wide-audience read! Imagine the future with the new big-screen Kindle Dx, an e-book! Well, the sky isn’t falling, yet…

“If you're a reader, you probably consider Amazon your friend. And it is. It recommends books to you and gets them to your door for cheap. But try shifting your point of view to that of a publisher and Amazon starts looking a bit scarier.”

Inside the Arts section, which as a matter of fact have got some tight articles, another one that might interest you is Lev Grossman’s stories on the two survivors’ of plane crash stories.

Also, Belinda Luscumbe enchants us with her article on social norms, which reveals the two side of a coin called social networking sites! Ouch! Watch out facebookers! However, if you are keener about learning some life skills, like how to save more dough, then read Linda Bastianich’s life coach.

For the politically inclined fans of Time Magazine, the June 22nd edition will sure give you’re a deep angle into the Labour pains…as it was termed! Obama was not left out of the news Peter Beinart and Joe Klein’s commentary and in the arena articles spoke volumes on the Middle East Peace quest!

Flipping through the pages of the TIME, from Josh Tryangiel’s hilarious Postcard: The Bronx through the verbatim, spotlight, global news etc. etc. I gained a better understanding of the global issues currently blowing hot and cold!

One more reason to read TIME magazine!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I HAVE LIFE! by Alison and Marianne Thamm

Book: I Have Life: Alison's Journey as Told to Marianne Thamm.
Author: Marianne Thamm
Fusion Press (June 2003)

The story, an autobiography, begins when Alison, while trying to park her car after a night out with her friends, is attacked by two callous killers who drove her away from her home in Port Elizabeth to a place they raped her, stabbed her many times, slit her throat and left her for dead in a filthy deserted clearing.

This story about surviving rape (and murder) as told by Alison and written by Marianne Thamm is very captivating. For the fainthearted, the book will shake you to the core of your being because it is written in its raw form. When I first picked up a copy of the book and read the synopsis, I had a clear feeling that it would make me cry and after Chapter one, I let the tears freely flow.

It is a sad account of how a young lady was raped, stabbed and left to die in a desolated place at the dead of the night. However, it is also a very inspiring account of life- living life and surviving!

The first part of the book tells us how Alison was car-jacked at knife point, raped, stabbed so many times (that the doctors could not count her wounds), and left for dead miles away from her home. The remaining part tells how Alison truimphed over the painful experience afflicted by her assaillants and chose to have her life back...instead of hiding away or keeping mum out of fear of stigmatization.

I admire Alison's courage, which really helped her in having her life back. It wasn't easy but she made it and rose from being a victim of a brutal rape and attempted murder into a victor who uses her tragic experiences into inspiring others to live life. The role her family and friends played during this process was not left out of the story. Reading the contributions from Alison's family, friends, and the man (Thienne) who saved her after she was abadoned by the rapists gave a deeper picture to Alison's story.

The first-person narration technique makes the story come alive as Alison, in terrifying details, describes her thoughts and feelings throughout the attack, while in hospital, recovering at home and getting back on her feet, and shows how attitude, belief, and choice (her ABC philosophy of life) helped her survive the ordeal.

Meanwhile, in the account, Alison's surname was not mentioned once! Is this to protect her privacy or it was just an over sight?

From my research, I learnt that Alison is happily married and she has a son. She is a public inspirational speaker who tours the world sharing her story of survival. The Author, Marianne Thamm is an award-winning journalist and she has written for different magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Fair Lady, House and Leisure, and Style.

It doesn't matter what happens to us in life, it is what we do with it that matters. I HAVE LIFE is a story of hope! I encourage you to read it because it conveys a powerful message that we can all apply to our life, no matter the circumstances!!