Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro - Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah



Radiance of Tomorrow

"It is the end, or maybe the beginning, of another story.
Every story begins and ends with a woman, a mother,
     a grandmother, a girl, a child.
Every story is a birth . . .

She was the first to arrive where it seems the wind no longer exhaled. Several miles from town, the trees had entangled one another. Their branches grew toward the ground, burying the leaves in the soil to blind their eyes so the sun would not promise them tomorrow with its rays. It was only the path that was reluctant to cloak its surface completely with grasses, as though it anticipated it would soon end its starvation for the warmth of bare feet that gave it life."

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So begins Ishmael Beah's first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow. In an author's note, Beah explains that he grew up in Sierra Leone and, in writing the novel, he seeks to capture their oral traditions and language. He tries to capture the expressive nature of Mende, his "mother tongue". He gives an example of the difference between English and Mende: "For example, in Mende, you wouldn't say 'night came suddenly': you would say 'the sky rolled over and changed its sides.'" (viii) You can really see this expressiveness in the opening paragraph. It is a little awkward for a native English speaker, but having read the first couple chapters already, I can say that it does get easier to read. 


9 comments:

  1. I've wanted to read one of his books. Have to read one soon.

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    1. I thought A Long Way Gone was excellent. So far Radiance of Tomorrow is good too, but I'm not really far enough to say.

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  2. I like to listen to books like this one. Enjoy.

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    1. I bet it would be a great audiobook.

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  3. I have A Long Way Gone on my TBR shelf to read. This one sounds good as well.

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  4. Love the intro/teaser. I would pick it up!

    Here is my intro/teaser post!

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  5. I think I'd read this based on the author alone. Enjoy!

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  6. I love the writing and think I'd want a bit more -- hope u love it and I'm so happy u joined us this week.

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