On my shelf: Upcoming lectures

“The Thing Around Your Neck” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

I’m really looking forward to diving into this book. I actually got two of them for Christmas. “The Thing Around Your Neck” is a collection of short stories by Adichie, who is from Nigeria.

I was first introduced to Adichie when I read the book “Gods and Soldiers,” an anthology of contemporary African writing, which showcases the myriad styles from across the continent, including both fiction and nonfiction.

She is speaking in Portland as a part of the Portland Arts & Lectures series on May 3, 2012. For tickets go to: http://pcpa.com/events/chimamanda-adichie.

“Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese.

Speaking of the Portland Arts & Lectures series, I should give a shout out to “Cutting for Stone,” which was one of the more gripping novels I read last year. “Cutting for Stone” tells the life story of two twins, who were born to a nun at a mission hospital in Ethiopia. The boys grow up through political upheaval in the country to both become doctors – one in the U.S. and one in Ethiopia.

Along the way, Verghese, who is a doctor, skillfully provides details that only a medical expert could. Let’s just say the end has the type of serendipitously brilliant conclusion that happens so very rarely in novels.

I saw him speak last year in Lake Oswego, and one of my colleagues wrote about the lecture here. For tickets to the April 12, 2012, lecture in Portland go to: http://pcpa.com/events/abraham-verghese.

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