Year of Publication: 1997
Genre: Short Stories
One particular short story I have come to admire so much in my life and which seems to speak to me at several levels of my life would be found in this book. I read this story, reread and reread until at a point in time, I thought I was neglecting the other stories in the book.
In my view, I would rather prefer that the title of the book be named ‘Choosing and Other Stories’ instead of ‘The Girl Who Can and Other Stories’. I will spend some time to talk about the story titled ‘Choosing.’ It is a story that tells a moral from the world of work. There is this writer who taught she could not write because she had so many problems – the major problem being financial. To overcome this problem, she tried so many works other than writing so as to make a living. This writer turned to teaching for some time, then to trading yet, was not successful in either of them. So what would she do? She had to turn to her mother for advice. Her mother’s advice is summed up in the paragraph below:
‘In this life, there can only be two ways of searching for anything we want. We can begin from the places we know best, and search until we get to places we did not know even existed. Or we can begin searching from unknown places until we get to old and familiar places.’
Right after her mother’s speech, the writer asked, ‘Which one is better?’
Hmm! I will have to throw the question back to you. So I ask ‘Which one is better?’
You have to read this story and I will particularly advice all would-be-writers and even established writers to go look for this story. You’ll learn so many lessons from it.
The book contains fourteen short stories which are all interesting and exciting – some of the titles are Payments, Nowhere Cool, The Girl Who Can, Heavy Moments among others.
All in all, Ama Ata Aidoo continues to win my interest with her writings. I recommend this book to all and sundry.