Sunday, January 20, 2008

Beauty Queen - Barbara Kimenye

This is exactly the kind of book that a secondary school student in English-speaking Africa would love... a quick Jackie Collins-like tale of a village girl transformed, and her eventual downfall from HIV/AIDS. The book is remarkable for the absence of explicit moralizing... you could have imagined it quite differently. There are flashes of great writing and story-telling, which keep the more sophisticated reader interested. The ending is dramatically abrupt. She's wasted away, and dies. You knew that from the beginning, that she was not going to a pretty end.

The book is part of a series developed by East African Educational Publishers for secondary school pleasure reading. It is available through Michigan State University Press. Buy an copy, read it, and then send over to an African village library, why don't you?

No comments: