We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the un-appropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend. — John Maynard Keynes
Another great story from Chimamanda
I just got "Transition to Glory" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the latest One Story. It's terrific -- about two women, of widely separated classes and ages, and their tormented relationship to the same charming guy, in Lagos, Nigeria. Chimamanda has had rapid success since the first trial stories of hers I read in the Zoetrope workshop. Publications in prestigious magazines, literary prizes including the "O. Henry" selection. All deserved. The fact that she is a very photogenic young woman from Nigeria doesn't hurt, but I think what really works is: 1) she brings us news of a culture and characters we wouldn't otherwise know; 2) she keeps her p.o.v. tightly focused on one person's experience; 3) things happen, often dramatic things, in the world this person lives in (unlike in a lot of stories I see on Zoetrope); 4) nevertheless, what really matters is not the events but the way the p.o.v. character experiences them, making her (protagonist is usually a woman) a just slightly, intriguingly unreliable reporter; 5) descriptions are very vivid, using all the senses. All in all, that's very fine writing.