It is always great news when literary icon Chimamanda Adichie releases new work. Her classic books Purple Hibiscus, Half Of A Yellow Sun and Americanah are still contemporary favorites and we can never really get enough of her!
Chimamanda was one of the seven cover stars of T Magazine’s (The New York Time's Style Magazine) "Greats" issue, where she wrote a micro-novel which debuted exclusively on their Instagram account.
She declares about her bestseller Americanah in their cover story:
"I was tired of everyone saying that when you write about race in America, it has to be nuanced, it has to be subtle, it has to be this and that.
It’s not that I told people something they don’t know, it’s just that I did it in language that was more accessible."
And this she did again in her new short story for T Magazine, Janelle Asked To The Bedroom.
The writer was previously commissioned by The New York Times to write a short story The Arrangement about the American elections where she fictionalized the Trump family's reaction and adjustment to Donald Trump's rise to power. This time, she focuses on Melania Trump, portraying her as lethargic and a little bit racist.
This story is told from her pilates instructor, Janelle’s perspective. She meets a despondent Mrs. T in her bedroom where the two have a brief, uncomfortable exchange. Mrs. T reveals, among other things, that she is obsessed with Michelle Obama and that someone in her husband's camp hates her.
"'Look, I am watching this,' Mrs. T said, and turned her laptop around. A YouTube video of Michelle Obama visiting a class. Even from her quick glance, Janelle noticed the elegant ease of her manner, the glow of her beautiful brown legs.
'We all miss her,' Janelle said, and only after the words had left her mouth did she wish she could take them back. It had come so quickly, those words that she and everyone she knew said whenever Michelle Obama came up, that she had forgotten to whom she was speaking. But Mrs. T seemed not to have heard. She gestured to Janelle to come closer.
'Look at this. I always look at them for the inspiration.'
She clicked on a folder and launched a series of photos of Michelle Obama, each filling the screen, from the early years of her high-placed belt, to the later years of the subtly swingy weave. Mrs. T watched with concentration, as though seeing them for the first time. Minutes passed. Mrs. T seemed to expect Janelle to get into this strange photo-viewing exercise.
'That’s a lot of pictures,' Janelle said."
The full story enhances the narrative within pop culture that Melania Trump is a pitiable figure – being married to Donald Trump, quelle surprise?