This memoir takes the reader through Wainaina’s growing up Kenyan through his years emerging as a world-renowned author. He does so with unintended humor and billowing descriptives.
Binyavanga, a self-doubting boy and young man sees the world through his own unique lenses. He seems most at ease when alone, realizes he is not like most others yet feels neither shame or pride because of it. While I wanted to take him by the shoulders and shake him into being responsible during his college years, I finally realized he had to come into his own on his terms and on his time.
Mum, matriarch to the Wainaina family is a loving and hardworking woman who is loved by her family with the same might as the love she gives to them. Working at her hair salon keeps her busy and in touch with her neighbors and the politically evolving landscape of the time. Never harsh to others, she is a lighthouse to Binyavanga for many of his personal storms.
This is a man I think I could learn a great deal from without any words being spoken so perhaps we could just sit outside together in silence and take in all the world’s movements. How could I not be enamored of such a talented and humble writer especially one who declined a Young Global Leader Award with these words…
The problem here is that I am a writer. And although, like many, I go to sleep at night fantasizing about fame, fortune and credibility, the thing that is most valuable in my trade is to try, all the time, to keep myself loose, independent and creative… it would be an act of great fraudulence for me to accept the trite idea that I am ‘going to significantly impact world affairs’.
My rating for One Day I Will Write About This Place is a 7 out of 10.
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Next up, (after a little respite)… 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.