Saturday, June 16, 2007

Adichie's Desks

I wrote at the dining table when I could not use my father's desk because he was working or because a sibling was on the phone. The table, light green and long, was the family dumping ground -- of newspapers, university circulars, wedding invitations, bananas or groundnuts bought on the way home -- and the tiny ants that lived underneath it appeared after breakfast to crowd around bits of sugar or bread. I always cleared a space for myself at one end, opposite the grand old wood-paneled air conditioner, used so rarely that a puff of dust always burst out before cool air followed. It was noisy and, during birthdays when the parlor was filled with friends and food, graduations, baby showers for my sisters, the celebratory party when my mother was appointed registrar, there was always a loud vacuum-like sound of the air conditioner in the background.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminisces about the writing desks where she learned to write in this wonderfully atmospheric piece from The Washington Post.

(Photo taken from Adichie's website.)

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