The Face: Cartography of the Void

The Face Cartography of the Void A profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir by acclaimed Nigerian born author and poet Chris Abani that explores his personal history and complex sense of identity through a meditation on the face

  • Title: The Face: Cartography of the Void
  • Author: Chris Abani
  • ISBN: 9781632060143
  • Page: 135
  • Format: ebook
  • A profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir by acclaimed Nigerian born author and poet Chris Abani that explores his personal history and complex sense of identity through a meditation on the face.In The Face Cartography of the Void, acclaimed poet, novelist, and screenwriter Chris Abani has given us a brief memoir that is, in the best tradition of the genre, also an eA profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir by acclaimed Nigerian born author and poet Chris Abani that explores his personal history and complex sense of identity through a meditation on the face.In The Face Cartography of the Void, acclaimed poet, novelist, and screenwriter Chris Abani has given us a brief memoir that is, in the best tradition of the genre, also an exploration of the very nature of identity Abani meditates on his own face, beginning with his early childhood that was immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa The Face is a lush work of art that teems with original and profound insights into the role of race, culture, and language in fashioning our sense of self Abani s writing is poetic, filled with stories, jokes, and reflections that draw readers into his fold he invites them to explore their own faces and the experiences that have shaped them.As Abani so lovingly puts it, this extended essay contemplates all the people who have touched my face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it All of that human contact must leave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch This face is softened by it all Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life The Face is a gift to be read, re read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of his artistic powers Abani directs his gaze both inward and out toward the world around him, creating a self portrait in which readers will also see their own faces reflected.

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      Published :2018-08-13T22:25:15+00:00

    1 thought on “The Face: Cartography of the Void”

    1. The work of Chris Abani crosses national boundaries. He calls himself a “global Igbo,” referring to his lineage, and to the fact that he has so many foreign influences on his experience as a Nigerian. Brought up privileged in an educated middle-class household with a white British mother and an Oxford-educated Igbo father, Abani had access to western music, American novels, Bollywood films, Indian mysticism as a youth. He was a precocious fourth son, starting to write in his early teens.His [...]

    2. Chris Abani's essay is a meditation on his family history, through the lens of his own face - the face of his father, his grandfather He briefly speaks of the history of his English mother, tracing back to the Norman Conquest, and shifts to the history of his Nigerian father, and the country of his birth and youth. Abani uses humor, mythology, and linguistics to define beauty in a West African context:"In West African thought, compusure creates beauty. Balance. Equanimity. Serenity. The essentia [...]

    3. Abani is an extremely gifted essayist. This poetic memoir deserves to be read multiple times throughout the year

    4. The face is culture, genealogy, emotion, a target, a sight for sore eyes, a wall; Abani explores the multifaceted dimensions of his own visage with candor, humor and wisdom. This was my first Abani and I'm eager to read more!

    5. What Abani labels his Caveat could serve as instruction for essay writing --CAVEATEverything in this book is true, even when the facts have been blunted by time and memory; even as I misremember, even as I misrepresent. Everything in this book is a remembrance, so none of it may be true at all.But it doesn't matter.

    6. Abani's fiction is sharp and observant. This is a non-fiction treatment of his face, a mixture of Celtic, German and Igbo and others. African history is woven into his story while examining the role of culture, race, language and country. Abani reaches into his own life to further explore the topic. A compelling and fresh view of the face in our world. Abani has given us a gift.

    7. Abani meditates on the idea of the face: the image you present to the world as well as the front-facing part of his own head - Ancestry, beliefs, language family and history rolled into one. It is a beautiful book - and beauty itself is more than looks as one can learn here.

    8. The second in this series that I've read. It's a great idea--small, smart-looking books by interesting people, each one containing a single essay about their faced by extension, all the history, family baggage, political ethnography, and everything else that goes along with it. A face connects to just about everything, if you come at it right.Abani uses his essay to write about his mixed-race heritage (his mother is a white Englishwoman, his father a black Nigerian), his complicated family dynam [...]

    9. Love Chris Abani. Love this."There are no easy ways to speak these words. No way to honor love and truth without something getting lost in translation. It is made even more complex when one party is dead, silent to this world. And how do you tell a story that is commonplace and felt by all without giving in to sentimentality. But the thing is that, in the end, we each must decide how comfortable we are with how much we hurt other people."

    10. Abani is a major writer. This book is a small format 70 page essay on the meaning of "face": the face you present to the world, the face people see, and all the issues we must face as humans. I tagged poetry here as well because some of Abani's little lists are magical.Too bad he ended up not being able to use all those bad jokes collected by his brothers.

    11. A short little book for #1 of the year. This memoir covers Chris's relationship with his father, how he is always misidentified by people, Igbo traditions. He cuts right to the heart of things and doesn't waste a word. I would like to read more by this author.

    12. A beautiful little book.But a big heart from Chris Abani makes it a big, great book. A book that I am definitely going to re - read many times. I love this book. Fantastic. What a MASTER PEN! Beautiful.

    13. I read this on MLK day, seemed appropriate. It is good, but I expected more exploration of the author's actual face. More of an exploration of his roots. I did rather enjoy his brothers' face jokes.

    14. I liked some of the content, but other parts struck me as gimmicky (especially all the lists). Abani is a talented writer, but some of the essays veer between multiple topics in a confusing and unfocused way.

    15. Quick read, but very meaningful. Abani's relationship with his father really hit home (no pun intended). So many quotable lines for such a short work.

    16. CD, this series of face books (haha) are mini memoirs, where the authors are promoted to tell us about their face, or really anything they want. This one in particular struck me—the author expounds upon what it means to have his father's face, and also gives us a glimpse into his struggles as a multiracial man. His voice is loud and clear throughout, and touched me despite the compactness of the text. Very, very well done.

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