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Under the Udala Trees
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
Inspired by Nigeria's folktales and its war,Under the Udala Treesis adeeply searching, powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly. Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie. As Edwidge Danticat has made personal the legacy of Haiti's political coming of age, Okparanta'sUnder the Udala Treesuses one woman's lifetime to examine the ways in which Nigerians continue to struggle toward selfhood. Even as their nation contends with and recovers from the effects of war and division, Nigerian lives are also wrecked and lost from taboo and prejudice. This story offers a glimmer of hope -- a future where a woman might just be able to shape her life around truth and love. Acclaimed byVogue, theFinancial Times,and many others, Chinelo Okparanta continues to distill "experience into something crystalline, stark but lustrous" (New York Times Book Review).Under the Udala Treesmarks the further rise of a star whose "tales will break your heart open" (New York Daily News).
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Jari-chan
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Set in Nigeria, #Africa and one of my current reads. Makes me wonder once again why people can't just be nice to each other?

#LetsTravelJuly

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I wonder the same thing.... 4w
21 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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sidherinn
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
violabrain Another great book! 1mo
1 like1 comment
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brandybear22
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Just started reading. So far I like the storytelling and narrator.

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MsLeah8417
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟💫

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Tove_Reads
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Breakfast at the new library. Otherwise it‘s great, but all the people here really annoy me. 😃

Heideschrampf Yummy! 8mo
LeeRHarry Maybe once the novelty wears off it will quieten down - that food looks delicious ! 😊 8mo
CouronneDhiver Great book! Also, is that a dessert or something else? Looks like cake for breakfast - which is a brilliant way to start the day 👍🏽 8mo
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Tove_Reads @CouronneDhiver It‘s raspberry red currant cake and härkis ( made of fava beans) bagel. Very Finnish ingredients. The place was filled with tourists, and I‘m sure Japanese people will fill the place most days. @LeeRHarry 8mo
DivineDiana You can eat in your Library?!? 8mo
Tove_Reads @divinediana This open cafe is in the middle of the books. There‘s also a restaurant with a wine bar and another cafe with a terrace overlooking the parliament, music hall and finlandia house. There is also a practice kitchen for 30 peeps. (edited) 8mo
DivineDiana That is incredible! I don‘t know of any Library that rivals that in the US! 8mo
Chrissyreadit @Tove_Reads wow! I would live there!!! 8mo
Soubhiville I love this book! 8mo
53 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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Tonton
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Wow. A coming of age story, lesbian love story, and a war story juggled superbly to balance evenly informing each part. Set in during the Biafran war. Lovely, bits can lag.

39 likes2 stack adds
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juliannebenford
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

This book has a quiet power. It's quite slow paced, so it took me a while to get into it but the audiobook narrator had such a lovely, expressive voice that I was hooked in the end. It's about a girl in war-torn Nigeria, sent away by her mother, who falls in love with another girl and the difficulty she has being gay in a country where it's not accepted at all and she can't even accept herself. #diversecharacters #AuginBooks18

CouronneDhiver I agree - great book! 13mo
37 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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jveezer
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

Ka udo di, ka ndu di. Let peace be. Let life be. This book was soooooooooo good.

3 likes1 stack add
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jveezer
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Really excited to be reading this book. A first #lgbtq African novel for me. Shame on Nigeria for their harsh, unconstitutional, and treaty-breaking anti-LGBTQ law. #ReadWide #ReadWomen

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thecurlybookworm
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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#riotgrams Day 7: #blackwriters

Still haven't read a few of these, but aiming to read three (The Fifth Season, As Lie Is to Grin, Akata Witch) this month!

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CouronneDhiver
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

This was a powerful and realistic (controvertial?), Nigerian coming-of-age novel dealing with tradition, family, marriage, friendship and religion within the context of a forbidden lesbian relationship.

Beautifully written, and read by an excellent narrator. I was easily transported to another place and time... took me right back to my grandparents‘ stories about African life and culture.

104 likes3 stack adds
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bibliocurl
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

Felt it was a bit slow somewhere in the middle, but loved it nonetheless!

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MoniqueReads305
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Since I'm still currently attempting to read all my partial read books I plan to have a mini readathon and try to get through the stack.

I'm also going to attempt some #audiocoloring with Under the Udala Trees

#HolidayReadingGoals

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theshrinkette
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

A coming of age story of Ijeoma, born before independence, her family struck by tragedy during a Civil War, sent away to boarding school and falls in love with a girl. Events occur that force Ijeoma to hide this part of herself, and where her life takes her as a result.
This gorgeous story is not exempt of queer suffering, but there are joyful parts that are lovely. Serves as a reminder that Nigeria still has brutal anti-queer laws in place.

Notafraidofwords I loved this one. 2y
Tamra I really want to read this! I‘m glad you liked it. 2y
brownekr LOVED this book. In fact, I read it twice, and I'm almost never a rereader. 2y
39 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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bookandcat
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

#readathon book 3 complete! This #lgbtq romance set in Nigeria is at times heartbreaking but hopeful. I got the book at #mfob last week. The author said she was forbidden from talking about her plot outright on Nigerian radio, as LGBTQ relationships are punishable by law there. This book is so necessary to give voice to the voiceless.
I sometimes found the pacing choppy, but enjoyed my time reading it. #weneeddiversebooks

17 likes1 stack add
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

Sad story of what happens when you are forced to live a lie. Although Ijeoma does find some happiness. A story that shows there is no hate greater than those who hate in the name God and Church. #U #LitsyAtoZ @BookishMarginalia

36 likes1 stack add
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Can't stop listening to this book. Even though bible quoting mother is giving me some serious flashbacks to my mother. 😨
Need for Ijeoma to be happy.

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Lacythebookworm
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Lunchtime #audiowalking

BooksForEmpathy I really want to read this! How‘s the audio? I have the print copy on my shelves but maybe audio is the way to go! 2y
Lacythebookworm @BooksForEmpathy This was my first time with Robin Miles as the narrator and I have to say I quite enjoyed her narration! You will definitely enjoy the story whichever way you decide to go 😊 2y
80 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Hooked_on_books
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Ok, @Librariana , my favorite color is blue, so here's a blue stack for you! I've had a tough week, so I was a little slow to reply. Better late than never. 😉 #bookcolortag

Soubhiville I hope you have a nice relaxing weekend now. Sorry your week was tough. 2y
Librariana Oh darling, I'm so sorry to hear you've had a tough week! 😔 I can only hope this weekend treats you with kindness and offers some relaxation. I also hope me tagging you didn't feel like an annoyance/nuisance. I send you all the good vibes and gratitude for your lovely blue stack! 😊💙 2y
Hooked_on_books @Librariana Oh don't even think that, silly! I've just been so exhausted I haven't even looked at Litsy much. And it's always nice to be thought of. 😊 2y
62 likes3 comments
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shawnmooney
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Bailedbailed

Bailed just short of the halfway mark. Some lovely writing here, and a pioneering African lesbian novel. But I was bored out of my tree: whether it was her father's violent wartime death or her Christianity-addled mother's abusive attempts to pray away the gay, nothing seemed to bother the protagonist. Her interiority was virtually non-existent, other than sweet, positive feelings. Everything was just fine and lovely and wholly unbelievable.

emilyhaldi I can understand why you bailed... Sounds painful. 2y
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shawnmooney
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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This is how her mother tries to counsel Ijeoma out of her lesbianism, using good ol' Judges 19. (There is a lot of antihomophobic biblical apologetics in the novel, I'm finding, too much for my tastes but no doubt of some value to African Christian queers who are struggling.)

#QuoteOfTheDay

saresmoore Or for any Christian or recovering Christian, for that matter. 2y
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shawnmooney
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Suet624 💕💕💕 2y
DivineDiana Perfect illustration! 2y
kspenmoll 💛 2y
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saresmoore I love this. 2y
minkyb The entire book is full of beautiful writing. 2y
shawnmooney @Suet624 @DivineDiana @kspenmoll @saresmoore @minkyb I'm really absorbed in this novel so far! I'm listening to the audio while I read along with the e-book. 2y
45 likes1 stack add6 comments
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shawnmooney
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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shawnmooney
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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For my Litsy A-Z Reading challenge, this should've been my first choice for "U" all along – now that I've bailed on another one, here I go with this – probably the first and only lesbian novel to come out of Africa! I'm so excited!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa It's on my list too!! 2y
Soubhiville I loved this book!!! 2y
Notafraidofwords Loved this one! 2y
ReadingEnvy And two words that start with U! 2y
52 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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violabrain
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

This book has been on my TBR list for awhile now, and it didn't disappoint. A beautiful, moving book about being gay in a culture in which that is a death sentence and the ways in which religion keeps people captive and trapped in a life that makes them miserable. So very highly recommended. Also, I can't get enough of this stunning cover!

7 likes1 stack add
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amma-keep-reading
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Wow, just wow. This is a brave topic for a writer from the continent to write (even in this day and age). This is a powerful war story (figuratively and literally), love story, and coming of age story. And poignant.

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amma-keep-reading
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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"Sometimes I sit with my Bible in my hands, and I think to myself that God is nothing but an artist, and the world is his canvas. And I reason that if the Old and New Testaments are any indication, then change is in fact a major part of His aesthetic, a major part of of His vision for the world. "

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Lillytales
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Nothing beats rushing home, bursting open the door and ripping into an LGBTIQA-filled package of books from the lovely team at Granta. Happy #PrideMonth! 🌈💃👨‍❤️‍👨👩‍❤️‍👩

#lgbtlit #booksthatmademe #queer

13 likes2 stack adds
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8little_paws
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

This is a beautiful book about a lesbian in 1960-80s Nigeria who is Christian. Lots about how strong homophobia is there. It's not an easy read, but I recommend it!

Why I read it: #litsyatoz letter U

EllieDottie I really liked this book! 2y
BooksForEmpathy Okay I really have to read this! 2y
72 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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8little_paws
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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There is some great writing in this book.

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EllieDottie
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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This might be a little on the nose for #underatree, but I read this book a few months ago and loved it! #splashintosummerreads

I got this image from a website and thought it was beautiful! http://parkerandme.co.uk/billy-elliot-style-home-twitter-book-club-littleloves/

59 likes1 stack add
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tricours
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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This month's Norwegian book box had a queer theme! I haven't read either of them (EDIT: gah! Realized that I have read Isherwood), but Okparanta's book was on my TBR list here on Litsy.

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EllieDottie
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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This is the last line from a book I read this year that is a coming of age story for a young woman in Nigeria who is finds her LGBTQ+ identity coming in conflict with her extremely conservative culture. It is an absolutly beautiful story! #LGBTQPride #riotgrams #lastlines

52 likes1 stack add
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BookishTrish
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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64 likes2 stack adds
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EllieDottie
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book! It's a moving story of a Igbo girl who grows up during the civil war in Nigeria, and falls in love with a girl of a different ethnic community. This was an engrossing story that painted a vivid picture of what it's like to be part of the extremely marginalized LGBT group in Nigeria. My only comment was I wish I was able to get to know some of the secondary characters a little more. #startswithuvw #marchintoreading

54 likes6 stack adds
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Sue
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

Well that was heartbreaking 😢#litsyatoz

Suet624 Those colors are stunning. 2y
104 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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EllieDottie
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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I'm off to a wedding this weekend and this is my airplane book! I'm ready to explore a culture that I am pretty unfamiliar with so I'm also going to use this for #greatexplorations! #marchmadness

Riveted_Reader_Melissa This is on my to read pile too! 2y
Soubhiville I love this book! One of my favorites from last year. 2y
Notafraidofwords One of my favs 2y
EllieDottie @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Soubhiville @Notafraidofwords I'm almost finished and I'm loving it!! (edited) 2y
56 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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alisonrose
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
Pickpick

I am so glad this book was written even though it is painful to know how based in truth it is. As a queer woman, but a white, cis, USian one, my heart goes out to Ijeoma and Amina and Ndidi and the real people they represent who are far less privileged than I and who are at such grave risk for simply being as God made them. A poignant story that I only wish had gone a little deeper, but a very good read nonetheless. 4/5 ⭐

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alisonrose
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta

In the near darkness, our hands moved across our bodies. We took in with our fingers the curves of our flesh, the grooves. Our hands, rather than our voices, seemed to do the speaking. Our breaths mingled with the night sounds. Eventually our lips met. This was the beginning, our bodies being touched by the fire that was each other's flesh.

[Usually I don't go for sex scenes for reasons, but I like this bc yay queer girls and also it's so pretty]

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alisonrose
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Reeeeally looking forward to this one! #nowreading

ramyasbookshelf That looks absolutely delicious :) I love that book cover! 2y
29 likes1 comment
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MoniqueReads305
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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I'm learning that novels that are largely character based make for slow #audiobook listens. There is not enough action to make the time go by.

Also, maybe next time I will be finished with the book before my bookclub meeting.

#audible #Nigerian #fiction #undertheudalatrees #bookclub

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MoniqueReads305
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Listening to the #audiobook on Hoopla. Robin Miles is narrating and she is so talented. I almost didn't notice it was her because of the accent. Love it.

Please ignore my messy desk.

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Weaponxgirl
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

I'm not used to audiobooks so took me a long time to listen to this. I loved the audio for hearing the African songs, there's no way I would have ever a) pronounced any words right and then b) got them in the right tune. This book is almost wrote like a oral tale. It's almost quite sparse in how it tells the tale, it's not my favourite style of writing but this is still a good book. The story is a needed one but I doubt I'll ever return to it.

ReadingOver50 I enjoy lots of books but it doesn't mean I want to reread them 😄 2y
Weaponxgirl @ReadingOver50 a part of how I judge a book is by would I ever want to read this again? I hardly ever do but it's a part of my reading process 😀 2y
63 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Weaponxgirl
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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#24in48 I'm listening to this on audio to make up my hours. Some feminists I'd like to march with are Caitlin Moran as she's from a similar background to myself. Not many working class voices in the media in the uk atm, let alone women. I've had a snag in my plans for this readathon. A friends cat chewed through my headphones so no audiobooks whilst walking to work.

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DeborahSmall
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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#bookmail love these Bronte editions 📚❤️

readinginthedark Beautiful! 3y
71 likes1 comment
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Weaponxgirl
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Here are some of the #diversebooks I'm hoping to read during my #24in48. Pretty chuffed that I've managed to find a little bit of everything. I started under the udala trees last year but then scribd lost the rights before I could finish it :/ my audio of choice for the walk to work. The challenge also runs into the #diverseathon by @read_diverse_books .

Aquedita Excellent choices! I am joining #DiverseAThon as well so let's hang out together 3y
Weaponxgirl @Aquedita I'm so up for that :) I love just pulling stuff off the shelves that's appropriate and dreaming of all the possibilities 3y
readordierachel Bone was excellent, and I really enjoyed Binti as well. Happy reading! 3y
Weaponxgirl @ReadOrDieRachel yay, I'm even more excited now! 3y
56 likes4 comments
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prowlix
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Pickpick

A coming of age story of a lesbian in very religious Nigeria. It is both sad and hopeful. It weaves folklore into the story with beautiful prose and the audiobook was wonderfully read with an accent and some singing! This book is a reminder of why we need #diversereads - so many thing I was unaware of! Please consider this if you're looking to diversify your reading life! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#wndb #LC3 #LC5 #LC12 #LC14 #LGBTQ

prowlix I believe it's a debut novel for those of us soon #ReadHarder2017 too 3y
BookishMarginalia 👍🏼 3y
jessberk13 4 boxes for one book - impressive!!! 3y
36 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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prowlix
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Somehow I missed in all the buzz about this book that it also has #LGBTQ themes! I was just excited about another great Nigerian author and Robin Miles as a narrator! This won the Lambda Award in 2016 and is set in 1970s (so far) which is two #LitsyChallenge Categories! I 💗happy accidents 😁

CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian Robin Miles is the best audiobook reader! 3y
Notafraidofwords Ahh I loved this book! 3y
Theresa I bought the audiobook several months ago & saved it figuring it might be perfect for a challenge prompt. I'm using it for the #litsyreadingchallenge. 😄 3y
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prowlix @CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian She's doing accent in this read and it's so good! 3y
prowlix @Theresa I was going to just use it for #U in the #LitsyAtoZ challenge so this worked out even better! And I am really enjoying it so far (about 4.5 hrs in) 3y
prowlix @Notafraidofwords I am loving it so far! And the audiobook version is great 3y
Louise Sounds like this would be a great book for Nigeria in the #readingaroundtheworld challenge too! Thanks! I'll make a note of it! 👍👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3y
38 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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read_diverse_books
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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#SignedSundays
I didn't get many books signed before I started blogging in 2016, but this copy of Under The Udala Trees is one of the few exceptions! I met Chinelo Okparanta at the Texas Book Festival last year and she was so wonderful, smart, and kind. The time I got this book signed & went to the book festival was when I was seriously considering blogging. Glad I went through with it!
#diversebooks #diversereads #literaryfiction #Litsygram

LeahBergen Nice!! 💗💗 3y
Alfoster Cool!!👏👏 3y
85 likes7 stack adds2 comments
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JanJan
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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New book! Anyone read it?

alanacristin Oh, sounds good! 3y
LindsayReads Yes, and it was fabulous! 3y
moranadatter Yes. It was a difficult read, but a good one. 3y
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Lindy I liked it. I liked her short stories even better: 3y
AudreyMorris Yes! Good but emotionally difficult. 3y
Notafraidofwords Oh one of favorites! 3y
Lupita.Reads Yes and I loved it! So good! 3y
41 likes4 stack adds7 comments