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Alex Boyd on books in the news. A quick look at newly published material and the books of current interest. Your host Alex Boyd is in the serials department at the University of Illinois Library. He crooned circular sign on the back of a bus traveling along a narrow dirt road in Ghana depicts a beautiful multi-color flower. Written around the edges of the sign of the words the beautiful ones are not yet born. As the bus passes out of sight a shabbily dressed man. Who had been watching the bus turns away and begins walking towards home. This scene is from the beautiful ones are not yet born but I recall a arma. The man who has been watching the bus as the central character of the novel. He is never named but always referred to as the man. He therefore represents the average the ordinary citizen and at such shows the condition of the common man. And this time in Ghana to be very bad indeed. The sign on the bus has special significance for the man well beyond his poverty and feudal
existence. He remains an honest and compassionate person. These attributes place him among the beautiful ones. But as a science adjust the time is not yet right for these qualities. This is the period shortly before and after the era of Kwame in the chroma honesty and compassion. Ill equipped the man to survive in a country polluted with graft corruption greed decay and filth. The man is a man a great railroad civil servant. He has a wife three children a mother in law in a small squalid home paid once a month. He and his family live from one Passion week to another. Passion Week begins on payday and usually ends at the end of the week when the money runs out. They live in seemingly never ending poverty and wretchedness. The man himself has few visions and fewer delusions about his present life or his family's future. He has long since ceased to disparage his condition and only allows himself a minimum of bitterness.
He's too honest to indulge in even the smallest bribery and corruption that seems to be the only means by which the country continues to exist. For this is wife's gone and his mother lobby rates him. These two continually compare the man's condition to that of a former high school classmate comes down comes on and like the man quite frankly is dishonest and corrupt. As a result he has become a minister in the government and uses his position to run an illegal but very profitable fishing boats Wendel. In simple terms the author says that at this juncture in gunnin history some suffer because they choose to be good while others prosper because they choose not to be good. There is nothing radical or unique about this. It's happened before and will happen again and again whenever men grouped together under the banner of civilization. What is so incredibly sad the man situation however is that even when he has been dictated when the revolution occurs the crew is overthrown and he has to help comes on a state at the risk
of his own life. Even then conditions for him do not change within hours after the new bureaucracy is set up a new pattern of graft and corruption has begun. Again the man must choose between getting in step with the times or remaining a beautiful flower in the midst of filth. There is little doubt which we will choose. The author quite obviously designed this little book as a commentary on present conditions in Ghana. The plot is quite spare and characterization is kept to a minimum. But there is plenty about Miss fair perhaps too much. Armor strives hard to achieve real realism. He chronicles every Vaal sight and smell that surround his characters in minute detail. For this reason it's difficult to recommend the beautiful ones are not yet born to the mild mannered or to the squeamish. The imagery of filth and decay that pervades the book is of course meant to be symbolic of the condition of the country itself. But the author dwells on this so much that becomes revolting again however this may be his
aim. The richness of the man both physical and mental. Becomes etched on the reader's mind. An active reminder that at times when some one must be willing to pay a heavy price to remain very to us. The beautiful ones are not yet born by i.e. go away. Arma. This has been books in the news prepared and presented by Alex Boyd and sponsored by the Illinois State Library. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Books in the news
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Illinois State Library
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
In program number 368, Alex Boyd talks about Ayi Kwei Armah's "The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born."
Series Description
A quick look at newly published material and books of current interest.
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Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: Illinois State Library
Speaker: Boyd, Alex
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35d-368 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:47
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Chicago: “Books in the news; The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born,” 1969-01-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Books in the news; The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born.” 1969-01-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Books in the news; The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from