Reading Sofia Samatar: Introduction

Image | Wambui Mwangi

Image | Wambui Mwangi
I failed geography through primary and high school. It was always the map section. I could not identify places on maps—rivers, lakes, towns, natural resources. They asked for abstractions that I could not master.

Places could not—would not—stay in place. They traveled and roamed: nomad geographies.

This inability translates into other fields.

I am not very good at “traditional” literary criticism. I am unable to “map” novels and poems, to make decisive statements about this or that. I tend to fall into works, to become lost in detail, enraptured by minutia. And then I get distracted and fail to “make connections.”

Perhaps this is a preemptive apology?

Over the next month, I’ll be blogging on Sofia Samatar’s A Stranger in Olondria. Following this week, I’ll be posting once a week for three weeks.

I’m not yet sure what I’ll write. I’m excited to find out.