Yoruba Love Stories - Book Club Choice Feb 2020

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this collection of Yoruban love stories by Olabode Ogunlana but came to it in the anticipation of a refreshing take on a much-ignored view of Africa and Africans because how often do we see, hear or read manifestations of Africans being in love with each other right?

The five tales were woven together under the common theme of romantic exchanges; some with a timeless, almost mythical feel which did not root them in a specific time in history. Others made colonial or modern-day references which placed them in a more contemporary context albeit still very much outside of the habits and values that we have become accustomed to in the West. 

I confess it was a little hard to get into at first and I found a quirkiness in the writing style that did not endear me to it. That said, I loved the idea that we were focused on the journeys of black love in its simplest form. I loved that the world outside of Africa was an incidental and temporary requirement of the plot: the focus always remaining in Nigeria. Would I want to hear similar tales from Ogunlana? Perhaps one collection was enough for me but it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts. Did you read this collection as part of the book club this month? If not, is it likely to be one for your reading pile? Let us know at book club this Thursday 6th at Legacy or share your views below.


1 comment

  • Yoruba Love Stories – I was disappointed as the writer seemed to flit between Africa and London. It would appear almost all the main character ended up in London to study. Description of places, flowers and dances Europeanised. Apart from the names of people and places, i found nothing Yoruba about it.


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