Posts Tagged: Nigeria
Nigerian author Ben Okri reflected on his prize-winning novel, The Famished Road (1991), in the Guardian, saying that he wrote it to find reasons to live. The book, he writes, drew heavily from strange stories his mother told him and his father’s intrinsically African philosophies:
The novel was drawn from a half-glimpsed world, and it was fading fast from reality.
A new essay by Nigerian author A. Igoni Barrett (Love Is Power, or Something Like That and Blackass) highlights the ways poverty and struggle work against those in Nigeria who would be writers:
I found nothing there for me [at his university in Ibadan].
This is a Lasgidi of the mind, representing a meld of many club nights in Lagos and alternate Lagoses through the past decade. It is a cauldron of that vertiginous self-confidence that anyone who knows any Nigerians knows well.
Put down the New Yorker—Teju Cole is here with his selection of Nigerian dance jams, ready to take you clubbing in Lagos....more
Nearly a decade ago, Binvayanga Wainaina wrote an essay for Granta that changed his whole life. Now, he looks at the interior of African publishing, the landscape of literature on the continent, and the “Nollywoodification of the book market”:
“I am least interested about how Europe, the West, represents Africa.
It was a really big deal for me that a Sri Lankan publisher picked it up. I didn’t grow up there, and I didn’t go through [the war], so there’s always been a question of legitimacy. When I was at the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) workshop in 2011, I had these tremendous concerns: “I’m Sri Lankan, and I’m writing about the war, but I live in America.
The genre known as “afrobeat” has a long history, thanks mostly to the visionary multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti. When the Nigerian composer first came up with the name for his unique sound in the early ’70s, his music was moving thematically from the topic of love to more socially-conscious issues....more
Supporters of African LGBT rights were so relieved about Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s veto of an anti-gay bill that they were nearly blindsided when Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan’s signed a similar bill into law.
The law prompted Binyavanga Wainaina, a prominent Kenyan author who also spends a lot of time in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, to share something his wide readership did not know: he is gay....more
When I’m in the US, I argue with those who think Lagos is too dangerous a place to visit….I’m less defensive about Lagos when I’m actually there. After a few days back home, I begin to accumulate irritations and fears…The city makes everyone tense and grouchy.
Prominent Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sparked outrage in the African literary community last week with comments she made about the Caine Prize, a prestigious annual award for African writers.
Adichie said many things in her fascinating, no-nonsense Boston Review interview with Aaron Bady, but it was this dismissal that angered many: “But I haven’t even read the stories—I’m just not very interested....more
“Achebe A Celebrated Storyteller, But No Father Of African Literature, Says Soyinka.” The headline sound sensationalistic and snipey, but this interview with Wole Soyinka about the death of Chinua Achebe is nuanced and comprehensive, if more than a little prickly.
Soyinka discusses what it’s like to lose a friend and colleague—and what it’s like to deal with the media’s wrongheaded notions about the relationship between the two men and the literary scene they were a part of....more
Check out this slideshow of work by emerging artist and Studio Harlem alum Njideka Akunyili, who grew up in New Haven, Nigeria, and got her MFA at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.
Packed with references to other Nigerian artists like author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and musician Nelly Uchendu, the pieces explore the intersection between her old home country and her new one, the traditional and the modern....more
If you haven’t yet heard about Goodluck Jonathan, the new President of Nigeria, you should read this article.
Why does everyone think artists are terrible at governing?...more
The other week, Juxtapoz photographer Chris Osburn published a bunch of photos from a recent trip to Nigeria, and he’s calling the series Postcards from Lagos. He reports that Lagos is a place where you have to stay alert, lest you get robbed or run over by a motorcycle, but he still managed to take lots of great shots....more
In her new short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie moves back and forth between two continents the way she has in real life. Adichie depicts contemporary middle class Nigeria, as well as the lives of Nigerian women newly arrived in the United States—wives, girlfriends of Americans, au pairs—adjusting to a new country....more
“After the phone call from The New Yorker, I walked more than a mile to church to thank God. But then I told God I would talk to Him another time and darted home.”...more