Lisa Moore has done it again published a wonderful book that expands our sense of what is possible in the world For Sizakele is a wonderful love story about young African American women with healthy doses of politics, slice of life in contemporary New York City, and a bit of poetry, too Pick up this book today. Taylor, A Queer Nigerian College Student, Is In A Passionate Relationship With Lee, A Black American Basketball Playing Pianist When Taylor Develops Romantic Feelings For Sy, A Cameroonian Photographer Whose Similarities Make Them Instant Family, Taylor Battles Lee S Jealousy As Taylor Encounters Challenges To Her Femme And African Identities, She Finds Ways, Through The Kinship Of Her Friends, To Define Herself On Her Own Terms For Sizakele Addresses Transcontinental Identity, Intimate Partner Violence, Queer Gender And How We Love As Illuminators Of Who We Are Deep, painful love storybut worth every word. For Sizakele by Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is a vibrant novel that gives voice to a community not often seen in literature, young African lesbians The main characters deal with sexual abuse, partner violence, and finding the courage to love someone fiercely The writing is captivating, the characters vividly drawn, and the message of owning the hurts and highs that come from opening yourself up to love is profound.The novel opens with a spoken word performance Taylor, a Nigerian college student, is performing to a rapt audience that includes her lover, Lee The two are students at an unnamed New York college Lee is a basketball player reluctant to deal with the sexual trauma in her past Taylor is an activist who often puts her causes before her relationship and education It is because of her activism she meets Sy, a Cameroonian photographer When an act of partner violence causes Taylor to seek refuge in the arms of Sy, friendship morphs into romantic feelings The novel deals with Taylor, Sy, and Lee evolving past their hurts, which range from molestation to family rejection The appearance of a woman from Sy s past and Taylor s current circle causes tension between the two However, the ending of the novel is ripe with promise of better days for everyoneEtaghene explains that the death of South African lesbian activists inspired her book title as part of her outroduction She wrote that she wanted to write a warm, fuzzy tender, loving story about the joys and pains of Black women loving each other For Sizakele honors the memory of those slain lovers by crafting a touching story of love between two African lesbians open to exploring life with each other. loved loved loved this queer enriched read would recommend to anyone and everyone The prose in For Sizakele is luscious yet easy to follow, and I read the entire book in one day because the characters captivated me so much This is a book that glows with not only the author s culture but also queer identity and love of African African diaspora women.The MC, Taylor, is a Nigerian American student passionately devoted to her activism She recites stirring poetry about identity at local events and brings social justice speakers to her community to inspire others She knows who she is and is confident in her worth as a person, but sometimes her activism takes up 25 hours of her day Meanwhile, her girlfriend Lee is dealing with family abuse and betrayal, which left her in so much pain that it spills out over her edges to hurt the one she loves.Into that volatile situation comes Sy She s African, like Taylor, and they bond instantly over shared diasporic sorrow, over shared food cravings, and over shared celebration of African women s beauty They speak to each other not only in English but also French and in Pidgin, skipping merrily from language to language holding hands clasped tight with understanding Their interaction is a wonderful, rich picture of friendship floating into love even as they deny that s what s happening.I was surprised that Taylor was bisexual, and one of her sources of conflict with Lee was Lee s insecurity about it Readers who have dealt with biphobia in their own lives may find Taylor s stirring defense and rebuttal validating When Lee wasn t spouting vitriol she also spoke some very real truths that masculine presenting women often aren t allowed to go about their lives without their hairstyle, clothing, etc being read as some kind of deliberate statement The way women like Lee dress and act has nothing to do with men, yet so many men see it as a blow to their specific ego.The resolution was satisfying and a happy ending, but it s not always necessarily obvious which relationship will win the way it is with some love triangles, so I m not going to tell you I think that shows deftness on the part of the author The happy ending also has some ragged edges, but that just made it realistic and believable for me TW for partner abuse within a f f relationship, and for Lee s past trauma. I read this book in two sittings Easily could have in one but I TRIED to savour it It s a book that finds, in one sentence, a way to pull out a deeper part of you And it does it with a sharp, but lush style How can language be so textured and beautiful while also feeling so comfortable in your mind s voice This is a work of true genius This kind of writing is painstakingly crafted but flows easy like water for the reader I m reading it again because I can t remember the most beautiful phrasings that I want to remember Read this book Especially if you re queer, especially if you re a person of colour, especially if you re black But truly it is universal like any great story.
Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, educator, actress and mixed media visual artist She engages a radical vulnerability and candor in her artwork and uses storytelling to build authentic human connection through passionate artistic expression Etaghene has produced four solo art exhibitions and performed internationally She is the f
- 254 pages
- For Sizakele
- Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene
- 06 November 2019 Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene