The power of the story

Smoke Signals

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

A chunk of my morning, which should have been devoted to working, was totally hijacked by this excellent talk by Nigerian novelist/story-teller  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — and she nails it when she says:

Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

In its review of Adichie’s latest, The Thing Around Your Neck, the New York Times says the collection of stories exemplifies the tensions “between fiction and autobiography, the expectations of the observer and the experience of the witness, not to mention the value of certain experiences…

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