This morning I listened to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on BBC Radio 4’s Cultural Exchange programme (in which creative minds choose their favourite cultural work) and learnt about Ben Ewonwu, the Nigerian artist ( 1917 – 1994). Adichie spoke about Ewonwu’s painting Tutu, of a Yoruba princess. The original painting has been missing for years, but when Adichie was growing up in Nnusuka, in South-east Nigeria, a print of the work was in practically every middle-class Nigerian household. It is still on the wall of her parents’ home.
If I could spend a few hours each week in a picture, it would have to be in one drawn by Edward Gorey. There would never be a dull moment, although it might be more genteel excitement that I could take.
As writing pictures go this is damned near as perfect as it gets. Look at her! We should all be able to assume such elegance of posture and countenance while contemplating the construction of a perfect sentence while a dead body lies at our feet.
By Monica Barengo
A book, cats, tea. Yes.
Remember the picture by Botero of a woman lying on the grass and reading? This one is much better. No ants crawling up your leg to nestle in your pubes.
I can’t read lying on my stomach though. My head feels like it’s going to fall off. Maybe I have a particularly heavy head.
A Woman Reading by Henri Lebasque
I have been discussing my study with my partner. My study that is to come. My study in our house in Lagos, Nigeria. I have four rooms to choose from. Three on the first floor, one on the ground floor. Books are heavy so I think I should have the ground floor room. I hope it is bright and airy. It is quite large from what I’ve seen when Don facetimed me while he walked through the house. I will have a sofa that I can lie on to read, because horizontal is my favourite reading position; I will have shelves for my books; a desk to write on, with drawers in which I can keep my pens and notebooks; I will have vases of flowers; and cabinets and tables for all my lovely bits and pieces.