Next week’s story What We’re Sure Of by Brandi Reissenweber

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Please pardon the sound quality this week. I made a few changes to my recording area that did not work out so well. ~Maya

This week both Maya and Anais were absolutely enchanted by Birdsong. Even Gerald enjoyed many aspects of this short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Don’t miss the Author Spotlight for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, she is an interesting author and – finally!- after 16 episodes it’s Maya’s first author spotlight.

Yes, we do have a rating scale based on Bradberries! For the history of this goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” If you want to design a Bradberry, we’d love to see it. Anais has the urge to create a Bradberry collage… Imagine, Bradberries on your desktop! You gave last week’s story, To Build a Fire by Jack London, 3 Bradberries.

On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate Birdsong? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give you the final tally on the next episode.

Next week we are reading What We’re Sure Of by Brandi Reissenweber

9 comments on Birdsong – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Literary Roadhouse Ep 16

  1. Todd Williams says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of this one. Some of the writing was beautiful; the bit about the shiny ring was especially powerful. Ultimately I didn’t care about any of the characters very much but I was happy to see that the main character removed herself from a demeaning situation without any melodrama. It seems like she will have a tough road ahead of her as a "feminist" in that society.
    I give this one 4 bradberries.

    PS you guys had me laughing out loud when you were talking about my probable Canadian response to the man in To Build a Fire.

      1. Todd Williams says:

        haha pretty close. I am now more like the old guy in town, but have also been the guy who thought he would be warm enough. I believe if that man had been drinking heavily, he would have survived. lol

  2. Maria Concepcion says:

    5 bradberries!

  3. Maria Concepcion says:

    I enjoyed this story, I loved the narrative and the language. The ending left me a little confused (another French movie haha) but after listening to the podcast, I think I got it. The girl that had the affair and was looking at the other woman in the car next to her was projecting her own feelings onto the other woman, and the fact that the other woman looked away reafirms her feelings of powerlessness, of not being seen.

    The woman in the other car is not the wife, she is the new lover. The jeep doesn’t have a scratch on it because it is brand new. This was the car that he was gifting to her, but since they broke up, he gave it to his new lover. This is my back story! lol

    1. I am disappointed in us for not guessing your story-behind-the-story. We’ll try harder next time.

  4. Ellie Franklin says:

    Loved, loved, loved this story.

    Rituals of Distrust made me laugh and feel said all at once. Everyone has them! Like, there’s one single junction in Birmingham, UK where we always have to check that the doors are locked because a friend of my mum’s colleague was car-jacked there. The rest of the city – who cares!? That one junction is obviously the only car-jacking location in England’s second city, right?

    I agreed with so much of what you said this week! All but one thing – did you really think the co-worker was supporting her at the end of the affair? From the description of their ‘friendship’ quite early on that it seem as though their relationship was out of necessity. They’re the only two women in a male dominated, male orientated work environment and country. There’s obvious disapproval regarding the affair. She even says that they wouldn’t be friends if they hadn’t been forced into it. Their friendship to me read as a survival method for both of them (Perhaps moreso Chikwado). That said, it’s always nice to see a situation where women aren’t ripping into each other, whether the support is genuine or not…

    p.s. They don’t teach us US history in England – certainly not whilst I was at school! So good job Gerald! Anais, you should totally know more!

    1. Maya Goode says:

      Oh no, you mean the mythical land where children learn everything in school that we didn’t doesn’t exist. Awe, mythical language of education lmao. Anais did great because those questions were hard lmao

    2. I think ‘support’ is over-stating how the co-worker felt at the end (in my reading), but she certainly seemed sympathetic to the trails the narrator was going through, even if she always disapproved of the affair. Then again I probably want to read it that way. I ike to think the co-worker, with whom I identified with, is big enough to both condemn the action, but care for the narrator wounded as a consequence of that action.

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