OUR SISTER KILLJOY OR REFLECTIONS, FROM A BLACK-EYED SQUINT is a narrative fiction in four episodes, which has already been acclaimed as one of the most Controversial African novels to date. The speaking voice is that of Sissié, an African student on a travelling scholarship to Europe a continent she views with an original eye. Her reactions and feelings of discovery, surprise, rage, irony, humor, disgust, and a continual longing for Africa are so charged and varied that one medium alone cannot express and convey them. So, in prose, interspersed with versified reflections, Sissie talks of her feelings and impressions of Europe, and of the lonely German housewife, Marija, who befriends her and even falls in love with her vitality but Africa her own land (where the hot pure skies mirror an ideal state of the soul) and not the made-up colonial version that pleases Europeans is never far from Sissie's heart and mind, and she cannot help pitying the condition of her African brothers and sisters in Europe, totally undignified in their motley of fabrics and colours" in an attempt to cope with an alien weather and with alien ways of life.
If the novel has an over-riding message, it is addressed to those of Sissie's brothers
and sisters from Africa (also other developing countries), who go to Europe for one
degree, get seduced, and stay on for another, and another, and another... Sissie
pleads with them to leave the elusive pleassures of Europe, in the pursuit of which their
talents are squandered, and return home where they are desperately needed.
The diversified and spirited discussions that greeted this novel on its publication in London are an indication that it makes some people uneasy, and that it is a novel that everybody ought to read.
Author: Ama Atta Aidoo
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