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Showing posts from July, 2020

Travelers: A One Minute Conversation with Helon Habila

I have just finished reading TRAVELERS from the ONEREAD app by STERLING BANK and I feel one of the most important highlights for me was the representation of numerous themes explored in the novel. That  also made me connect well too.There is also the part that TRAVELERS is actually a book that has a “well-traveled” setting. Did your experiences influence the writing of TRAVELERS?Yes, it did. We always write from our experiences, in one way or another, and I guess some more than others. I did meet people like the characters represented in Travelers, most of them in Berlin and Switzerland. A lot of the story is based on the interviews I had with these migrants. Like you said, the setting is also important. This is my first book set entirely outside Nigeria, I had to be careful not to misrepresent other cultures and people.There is also some magic that comes with the entire descriptive style. Everything was simplified in a way we all feel what we have never seen before. I understand this…

Aviara was Inspired by My Journey Through Ill Health - Othuke Ominiabohs

Othuke is a writer, poet and dramatist. A graduate of Computer Science from the University of Benin, Nigeria, he writes, dredging from experiences and influences from the land of his birth.To his name is Odufa, a play that got him shortlisted for the Wole Soyinka prize for Literature. Odufa: A Lover’s Tale, his first novel, also got shortlisted for the Association of Nigerian Author’s Prize for Prose Fiction and the Grand Prix of Literary Associations in Cameroun. He is the author of the acclaimed novel, A Conspiracy of Ravens. Aviara: Who Will Remember You is his third and latest novel.I have just finished reading AVIARA and all I could feel was going to visit AVIARA, at least to feel more of the characters that came from there. That's apart. How long did it take you to write AVIARA?Aviara took 4 years of writing. I actually conceived the idea and began writing in late 2015. Was there a reason you had two books in one ? Instead of making 2 different books? I honestly have no idea w…

Three Things from Chimamanda Adichie's Creative Writing Class - Frances Ogamba

1. It was my third time applying to the creative writing workshop. I had sent in a strong story but when I didn't get a mail soon, I tried to focus on other things. Then a success mail came, and it felt great.It was surreal having her sit right in front of me, talking about a craft we all are so invested in. I didn't hear a word of what she said the first day. I just stared and stared at her. I didn't know how to feel. Though she was playful and tried to make everyone feel relaxed and free, I remained awestruck till the end.2. We had three facilitators. Each one brought with them new lessons in writing. Show and tell was made clearer for me, and as well as the point of view shifts. I also learned to write in voices, considering especially the character. I learned how to tell a story with dialogue, the melodrama and clich├ęs in story telling.3. I made new connections from the class, and we inspire one another. Chimamanda's persona also inspired me beyond words. Though sh…

Interview: Boys are Also Trafficked for Many Other Reasons - Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

Photo by Dirk Skiba Book Cover Design ConceptCover design was by visual artist Fred Martins, the design interprets the book title. It’s a floating balloon of a head, pulling of from the rest of the body.
This conversation is really coming late, but it's always better late than never. Reading MY MIND IS NO LONGER HERE was a form of reading about men, reading through, from the eyes of men and what men really feel they need. We would like to know your intentions towards writing a book that wanted to talk about men and the kind of lives that are mostly associated with men.Yes, indeed this conversation has been a long time coming. I am glad we are finally able to do this and I must thank you for the time and the platform. You’ve started off with a very interesting question. I will like to start by stating from the outset that the first inspiration to write this book was a newspaper headline. Sometime circa 2011 I read a story in the metro section of one of Nigeria’s top dailies about a s…

Theophilus Sokuma: Being Taught by Chimamanda Adichie Was a Cocktail of Emotions

What was it like having to be taught by the amazing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ? Was it your first time of applying ? 
It was my second time. I had applied for the first time the previous year but did not get in. Being taught by Chimamanda was a cocktail of emotions. There were times I was anxious and there were times I was laughing at the top of my voice. Chimamanda is a blend of wit, insight, warmth and fierceness and she brought them all to the table. I enjoyed each session with her. We talked about writing and social issues, and Chimamanda displayed such admirable wisdom. She gave out compliments when it was needed and brought out the rod when neededWhat were the highlights of your classes ? What major things did you go home with ? Do you want to repeat a class like that again?
I loved the writing tasks. I loved the mini chat on social issues we had amongst ourselves. I loved the food. I could go on. Every bit of the workshop was a great highlight for me. The writing tasks made me rea…

Waiting for Vaults of Secrets: Olukorede Yishau Tells Us What to Expect

The cover art for Vaults of Secrets was by Wola Thomas. Line art says: Let what you have just seen remain between us. We see an image of  a person demanding that the next person in front of them keeps quiet.As is related to the book, many of the stories are about secrets being kept or being revealed. The base is on Matt lamination. A spot UV highlights a selected portion on the cover. The title name on front cover is embossed as  extra highlight.

Interview Between Olukorede and Black Boy Review
1. We have read that your new book, Vaults of Secrets will be out on October 1; that is also Nigeria’s Independence Day. Is there any intentions for this release date?October 1 has deeper meanings in my life and my siblings than just being Nigeria’s Independence Day. The first meaning is that my parents, the late Kayode Yishau and Titilayo Yishau, got married on October 1. And for a reason or reasons only the heavenly bodies can explain, my father also died on October 1 some years ago. The book i…

Interview: The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu

Okechukwu Nzelu is a writer and teacher. He was born in Manchester in 1988, read English at Girton College, Cambridge and completed the Teach First programme. His work has been published in Agenda, PN Review, E-magazine and The Literateur and his essay ‘Troubles with God’ will be published in the anthology Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (Trapeze, 2019). In 2015 he was the recipient of a New Writing North Award for The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, which is his debut novel.
Book cover art by Rachelle BakerPages : 320Paper color : WhiteWater resisting cover : No
TPJONM - The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney
Writing a comic book is one thing; and having controversial issues as race, gender and identity as thematic structures of the book is another thing. How were you able to bounce on this task?Thanks for picking up on this: it's one of the things I'm most proud of about the book. For as long as I've wanted to write a book, I've wanted to write a book that was e…

Teaser Review: Dear Alaere, by Eriye Onagoruwa

Texture: Glossy
Background: Yellowish wood
Title Font: Italicized cursive
Cover image: A smooth illustration of a woman’s face, with folds of hair, treated eyebrows, a straight nose and small lips in side view. The long neck depicts Alaere in the novel, but this might not work as placed in the book.
The first chapter on page 4; paragraph 2 points:I accepted my ugliness the way I accepted my name, Alaere. My parents did not indulge me and whenever I brought up the topic of my appearance, my mother would wave me away dismissively and my father would say what he always said, that we don’t get what we want in life and it is better to roll with the punches.
The above also appears honest; the sort of honesty that is not usually associated with book characters like Alaere. EriyeOnagoruwa has showed reality and truthfulness in this manner of truth-telling in fiction that it seems like an autobiography.
Dear Alaere, 18 chapters, each starting with ‘Dear Diary’, follows the life of this young, tech, …