Stephanie Newell, George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale University, will discuss the classic Ghanaian novel that inspired Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s ongoing series “The Beautyful Ones,” represented in the YCBA’s current exhibition of her work. Newell will describe the history and context of Ayi Kweh Armah’s novel of Ghanaian independence, and explore some of its themes. In this visceral novel, filled with dirt and bodily fluids, Armah vividly conjures the stench of political corruption. Through sarcasm and comic exaggeration, he confronts Africa’s political class and asks if and when the continent’s ideals will begin to flower. The talk will present scenes from the novel and invite comparisons with Akunyili Crosby’s series.