(Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Photograph by Martin Godwin)
Two women at the street market, one a vender and one a shopper/tourist get in the middle of a riot. They run and take cover inside an abandoned shop. One woman is Muslim, and one Christian, her name is Chika. We never get to know the other woman’s name.
The riots were started by Northern Muslims and Chika can tell that the woman is one. It is evident that the street vendor woman is quite poor, but she shares what little she has with Chika including her thread bare scarf. Both women have lost someone in the market and hope to find them after. They spend the night in the shop, waiting for the riot to calm. They get to know one and other a bit.
Adichie weaves a story of an unlikely pair that show some hope. Hope and possibility that people of all religious backgrounds could learn to get along. That in the end all humans want the same thing. To get through life with their families safe and cared for.
I have not read Adichie before however, I have both Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun on my TBR. I am now looking forward to them with even more enthusiasm! I highly recommend A Private Experience and you can read it for free here.
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