Saturday, August 13, 2011


An excerpt of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo's Roses and Bullets in Next Newspapers

"Eloka did not want to discuss this subject with his father. He was surprised at the way he was talking this evening. If it had happened in Port Harcourt, he would have thought he was drunk. But Ama-Oyi was not Port Harcourt, so his father couldn't be drunk. He shrugged and said, "I'm off to my room. Thanks for the food, Mama." He was on his feet when his father asked him to sit down. He wished his father would not go on raising the issue of his taking a wife. He was sure that was where their jokes were leading to. The last time his father brought up the subject, he had even asked if Eloka would like him to assist him to find a girl from a suitable home who would make him an excellent wife. His mother had added salt and pepper by mentioning the name of a girl from their in-law's lineage - a relation of Adaeze's husband. She had added that Adaeze was sure the girl was wife material - those were her words, wife material, as if the girl were an object up for sale." 

Never take paper and pencil for granted.  Professor Abdilatif Abdalla in conversation with Kimani wa Wanjiru.

"Being in possession of these two very important and valuable materials—paper and pencil, I was now ready to start my poetical exploration within the solitary confines of the four walls of my cell at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. I wrote my very first poem in prison, titled “Nshishiyelo ni Lilo!” (roughly translated it means, “I Hold Fast to What I Believe In”) in September 1969. This particular poem was a sort of a letter to my elder brother, Sheikh Abdilahi Nassir, although at that time I did not have any possibility of sending it to him, because I was not allowed neither to receive nor send letters, even to my immediate family. This brother of mine was the main person who was responsible of my politicization during my teens, and I had promised him that I will never surrender even when I find myself in trouble with the Government." 

The Most Challenging Part of Writing, Pius Adesanmi Interview in Sahara Reporters

"Finding a satisfactory first paragraph has always been a major problem for me. Inspiration comes to me, often in the middle of the night, in very powerful bursts. I wake up powerless in her grip and rush to my computer. There the agony begins. The idea is there, impatiently struggling to burst out but I’m unable to come up with a photographic image of the first paragraph in my head. I never write unless I first have a photographic image of the text about to be born, paragraph by paragraph, in my head. That is why I sometimes suffer the pain of parturition when writing!" 

“Although you will never fully know or successfully manipulate all the characters who surface, or disrupt your plot, you can respect the ones you can’t avoid by paying them close attention and doing them justice. The plot you choose may change or even elude you, but being your own story means you can control the theme.” 

How to Write about Pakistan in Granta

1. Must have mangoes.
2. Must have maids who serve mangoes.
3. Maids must have affairs with man servants who should occasionally steal mangoes.
4. Masters must lecture on history of mangoes and forgive the thieving servant.
5. Calls to prayer must be rendered to capture the mood of a nation disappointed by the failing crop of mangoes.
6. The mango flavour must linger for a few paragraphs.
7. And turn into a flashback to Partition.
8. Characters originating in rural areas must fight to prove that their mango is bigger than yours.
9. Fundamentalist mangoes must have more texture; secular mangoes should have artificial flavouring.
10. Mangoes that ripen in creative writing workshops must be rushed to the market before they go bad.

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