August 18, 2015

"Cult" - Inkitt's Writing Contest

Inkitt's "Cult" Writing Contest ENDS in 30 Days! 
Inkitt is a free platform that aims to help writers achieve their fullest potential. For their "Cult" writing contest they would like you to submit your best mystery and thriller stories! "Have us biting our nails over stories full of adrenaline and espionage. Keep us on the edge of our seats with your best mystery and thriller stories. We want you to leave us breathless with your tales of unmatched suspense."

Contest Guidelines
Authors will retain all rights to any and all works submitted in the contests. Original stories of any length are accepted. All entries to the contest must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible. The contest opens on August 17th and closes on September 17th. The "Cult" contest is completely FREE to enter! The top 10% based on reader votes will get the chance to be picked by the Inkitt staff for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. 

All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a rapidly growing community of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction. SUBMIT your stories today for the Mystery/Thriller writing contest! 

[Images and post content via Inkitt]

August 14, 2015

Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett | Book Review

Furo Wariboko is a Nigerian man who wakes up Caucasian. In this situation where I would have screamed loudly yelled loudly in shock, Furo worries about how to leave his house for a job interview undetected by his family members. And so I wondered if he had a mental illness. Maybe this change from a black man to a white man is all in his head. How can anyone wake up as a person of a different race and still be concerned with making it to a job interview? I waited for him to interact with other humans so that I could gauge his mental health. Furo isn't mentally ill as far as I know. He did wake up Caucasian and after he successfully leaves his parents house undetected he never returns. Blackass is about him dealing with his transformation and taking advantage of all the opportunities that are now open to him as a white Nigerian. Even though Furo's white on the outside he's still Nigerian in all the ways that count. His feelings of inadequacy are borne from a life of academic underachievement juxtaposed with his sister's academic prowess and her constant ability to impress. He shoulders the burden and expectations that come with being a first son and he's desperate to succeed, desperate to show he won't be that man who can't provide for his family. He won't be his father.

Blackass is one of the best literary offerings from Nigeria in 2015. It shines brightly next to Chigozie Obioma's Man Booker long-listed debut, The Fishermen and E.C. Osondu's full-length novel, This House is Not For Sale. Blackass is richly layered, it's fresh and it's engaging. I flipped the pages greedily as I neared the end wondering if Igoni would give this a happy ending. He does right by leaving us where he does at the end of this tale. It's an ending that raises many questions. A. Igoni Barrett delivers everything you expect and more. If your reading list doesn't already have Blackass on it you need to pencil it in. Blackass is one of 2015's must-reads.
Love is Power or Something Like That by A. Igoni Barrett - My Thoughts
13 Questions for A. Igoni Barrett

[Image via Amazon]

August 07, 2015

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi | Book Review

Boy Novak is a caucasian girl living with her abusive father in Manhattan, New York. She finds the courage to run away from home then she starts life afresh in Flax Hill, New England. There she meets Arturo Whitman, a widower and an unlikely love interest at first, marries him and becomes stepmother to his gorgeous little daughter, Snow. Snow's blonde haired, hazel eyed, and gorgeous. An "extraordinary-looking kid" who's the pride of the Whitman and Miller families. The Whitmans and the Millers are concealing a secret that is revealed later on when Boy gives birth to her daughter, Bird.

When I found out on the first page of the novel that the protagonist, Boy, is caucasian I raised my eyebrows and wondered what direction Oyeyemi would take this. I've read novels by authors who write as the opposite gender in first person but I hadn't read a novel in which the author was writing in first person as a different race and I was curious as to how she was going to accomplish this. Oyeyemi's story does not mention or evoke Nigeria in any way and that's fine by me. In the Guardian article Stop Pigeonholing African Writers which made its rounds on the internet last month, Taiye Selasi talks about the need for our authors to have the freedom to do whatever they please artistically. It's a great piece and I agree with her completely. I like Boy, Snow, Bird much more than The Opposite House (the last Oyeyemi book I read) but I don't think it's more intriguing than The Icarus Girl. Boy, Snow Bird is remarkable. Helen Oyeyemi's imagination and talent know no bounds.
The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi - My Thoughts
The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi - My Thoughts

[Image via Amazon]