Reading List

 

AmXULAY7c4zhw9RnEkNgk27YevNCgECvD58q82DU7M8r“little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they became the bleached bones of a story.” Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

  1. Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. It’s such a powerful, beautiful book. Pressing red roses in this one, too.

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Soapie Tropey Part VI/ BTS



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The One that Keeps Coming Back to Life

(Alias: The Cockroach)

Cockroaches can survive a nuclear attack, and so can some soap opera characters. They live through earthquakes, fires, storms, road accidents, gunshots. Basically, they are so valuable to the storyline that no matter what happens, you can be sure that you’ll be seeing them in the next episode. Or a few episodes down the line. Or sometimes many episodes down the line. Continue Reading

Soapie Tropey: Part V

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The Twins. (Alias: Paula/ Paulina).

Photographs by Kevin Tosh

Generally speaking, there are two types of twins in soapies:1. where the entire story revolves around the two switching places, and 2. where the switching of places is introduced somewhere down the line as a plot twist. But either way, the twins are pretty self explanatory. They are twins. They look identical.

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Soapie Tropey Part IV


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The Guy That Everyone Wants (Alias: Alejandro)

Photography by Kevin Tosh.

But of course, what would our soapie be without “The Guy”? The Guy holds within his hands our hopes and dreams for the soap opera, and has the power to keep our candle of hope burning or to extinguish it through his actions. If he ends up with Ms. Sugar and Spice too quickly, then we have no reason to keep watching the rest of the series. But too long and we could lose all hope, so he has to keep the suspense ever present and ever building but not so high that we give up on them.

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Soapie Tropey: Part III

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The Wicked Witch of the West (Alias: Rubi)

Photography by Kevin Tosh.

The Wicked Witch of the West keeps the wheels spinning. She singlehandedly is responsible for most of the “opera” in “Soap Opera”. She favors dark red lipstick and heavy eyeliner TOGETHER, even though all of the fashion rules say not to, but let’s be real, the WWW doesn’t follow the rules.

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Soapie Tropey Part II

PictureMs. Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice (Alias: Barbarita)

Photography by Kevin Tosh.

One of the most tropey of soap opera tropes, Ms. Sugar and Spice is pretty much everything the ‘good girl’ should be: beautiful, sweet, can’t harm a fly, loyal, suffering gracefully throughout the series… The problem isn’t so much her niceness as it is her underdeveloped-ness of character. (See Chimamanda Adichie’s “The Feminine Mistake“)

Soapie Tropey Part I. 

SoapieFootCandle An Introduction

Photography by Kevin Tosh.

A bit of soapie trivia for all you soap opera lovers and haters out there: the first soap opera was aired on October 20th 1930 and it was a radio show. And this you probably know: the name soap opera is because a. they were sponsored by detergent companies wishing to market their products to housewives, hence the “soap” and b. they were and still are very dramatic, hence the “opera”.

Love Story.

PicturePhotography by Kevin Tosh

I’ve been thinking a lot about love– and love stories– lately. And no, I’m not about to announce my engagement/marriage/relationship or to write publicly about my love life here. There’s also not much to report– in the sense that I’m not even sure what I’d be writing about exactly. But, I digress. You know what’s a lot more interesting than my real life love life? Books, movies, TV series about love. Or “Love” given that people might disagree with some of the depictions of love in these works.

So Long, Goodbye.

PicturePhotography by Kevin Tosh.

“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
– Chimamanda Adichie. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve never used a train in Kenya. Maybe because most Kenyans my age that I know (which is, admittedly, a very small subsection of Kenya) have never or rarely used a train. Maybe it’s because it conjures memories of Harry Potter and Platform 3 and 1/4.

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So Long, Goodbye

PicturePart III: Agnes
Photography by Kevin Tosh.
(See here for Part I, and here
for Part II)
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Here are a few things that were not strengths of Agnes’s: cooking, sewing, riding a bicycle, saying goodbye. As a child she had clung to physical objects every time she had to be taken away from a place that was familiar, she would wrap her feet and arms tightly around chairs, hold on to doors so that nothing could happen until she had been pulled off one finger at a time. Continue Reading