Bookish Witch

Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Blurb (as on Amazon):

The emotional storms weathered by a mother and daughter yield a profound new understanding in a moving short story by the bestselling, award-winning author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists

When Zikora, a DC lawyer from Nigeria, tells her equally high-powered lover that she’s pregnant, he abandons her. But it’s Zikora’s demanding, self-possessed mother, in town for the birth, who makes Zikora feel like a lonely little girl all over again. Shunned by the speed with which her ideal life fell apart, Zikora turns to reflecting on her mother’s painful past and struggle for dignity. Preparing for motherhood, Zikora begins to see more clearly what her own mother wants for her, for her new baby, and for herself.

Genre: Fiction/Short Story/Family Drama/Motherhood

Pages: 29

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 69 INR/$1.99

My rating: 4.4/5

Zikora is about to deliver her baby, with her mother by her side. Though she’d have preferred her boyfriend/lover to be with her during this time, she has to accept the harsh truth of being abandoned, with a pinch of salt. The labor, the delivery, and the incidents thereafter, make her reflect upon her past and her choices, making her respect her mother in a new light.

What I liked about the book:

-> It is the story of all women; through the various female characters, the author manages to tell us that though things have progressed, some things, when it comes to acceptance of women as equals, still haven’t changed much.
-> It tells us about the unseen, unheard and ugly side of pregnancy, as well as motherhood.
-> In just a few pages, the story explores the identity of women in their variety of roles: mother, wife, daughter. It manages to tell us how female lives are still moored in the patriarchal traditions no matter how much they think they resist.
-> The main character of Zikora is a compelling blend of strength and vulnerability. Her relationship with the father of her child, her mother, her father… all is explored with a most penetrating gaze that can’t fail to leave the reader quietly contemplative of their own personal relationships.
-> So many things about this story are universal, and quite relatable as everyone in the story is written as a familiar human being.

What I did not like about the book:

-> It ended quite abruptly. The end was just cut off. As readers of short stories, we don’t expect everything to be resolved, but it just felt unfinished.

Quotable quotes:

-> How do some memories insist on themselves?
-> Some kindnesses you do not ever forget. You carry them to your grave, held warmly somewhere, brought up and savored from time to time.
-> How swift the moment is when your life becomes a different life.
-> I believed then that love had to feel like hunger to be true.
-> Symptoms can mean nothing if a mind is convinced if a thing just cannot be.
-> You cannot nice your way into being loved.
-> Nature must not want humans to reproduce, otherwise, birthing would be easy, even enjoyable: babies would slip out and mothers would remain unmarked and whole, merely blessed by having bestowed life.
-> How you imagine something will be is always worse than how it actually ends up being.

> If he was going to have a child, of course he should have a say, but how much of a say, since the body was mine, since in creating a child, Nature demanded so much of the woman and so little of the man.
-> Ours was an ancient story, the woman wants the baby and the man doesn’t want the baby and a middle ground doesn’t exist.
-> Our relationship with body hair is similar to our relationship with pregnancy. It could be the thing we most desperately want and also the thing we most desperately don’t want.
-> What did “It’s time to get married” mean anyway? Why does one have to marry at all?
-> Nice. I don’t think that is how to describe a man you want to marry.
-> Love was about this, the nuggets of knowledge about our beloved that we so fluently hold.

Check out the book here:

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2 thoughts on “Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”

  1. I’ve read Chimamanda’s books and owned some of it. But I’ve never came across this one. Thanks for the review. Will be sure to check it out


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