Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ten top dinner parties in fiction

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.

At the Guardian, they tagged ten top dinner parties in fiction, including:
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Set in 1960s Nigeria before and during the Biafran war, hunger and starvation are at the heart of this novel. So too is eating. In the capacious, hospitable house of Olanna and Odenigbo, dinner parties are frequent in the years before conflict erupts. In the first of these, the template for the ones to follow, academics and radicals gather to discuss revolution, secession, colonialism – and they eat the food prepared by their houseboy Ugwu: pepper soup, spicy jollof rice, chicken boiled in herbs. He listens, though only half understands, their excited conversation. This inclusive, generous, culturally diverse hospitality becomes a repeating bright memory of better times as the story travels into betrayal and despair.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Half of a Yellow Sun is among Uzo Aduba’s ten favorite books, Barnaby Phillips's ten top books about Nigeria, Pushpinder Khaneka's three best books on Nigeria, and Lorraine Adams's six best books.

Also see Jeff Somers's five most disastrous dinner parties in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue