It really has been a good time for lovers of fiction and fans of Chimamanda Adichie with another epic release, seven years after Americanah. The book, titled Zikora, is a 30-page fiction that covers themes on single parenthood and sexism. Chimamanda does not spare us the intense details on pregnancy and labour.
The book opens to Zikora, a 39 year-old Nigerian lawyer, living in Washington DC in a labour room with her very aloof mother who disapproving looks on as her daughter screams for an epidural. Zikora however understands: “I was disgracing her now; I was not facing labor with laced-up dignity.” She wishes her child’s father was there instead.
Kwame, a 37 year-old Ghanaian described as “ a clean-looking Black man”, and like her, a highly educated lawyer, and Zikora had met at a book launch. They hit it off and began dating, but things turned south when Zikora discovered she was pregnant. Kwame expresses “Ours was an ancient story, the woman wants the baby and the man doesn’t want the baby and a middle ground does not exist.” After which he delivers an “almost imperceptible shrug… From the deepest vaults of his being,
a shrug.” He then proceeds to refuse contact with Zikora via text and call.
Through the assistance of a co-worker, Donna, Zikora makes it through her pregnancy. The loss of her baby’s father sends Zikora through an emotional rollercoaster.
Through the book, Zikora continues to reminisce about memories of family members and old associations. Finally, Zikora delivers her baby, leaving the hospital at peace with her mother and on the phone with her father.
In Zikora, Chimamanda successfully highlights the struggles of black women with patriarchy. It’s only 35 pages long, but undeniably loaded in detailed clear prose leaving you fulfilled but wanting more.
You can read Zikora here.