Saturday, May 13, 2006

sefi atta interview... & adichie

Sefi Atta, author of Everything Good Will Come, talks about her 'wonderful' childhood in a new interview...

We lived off Queen’s Drive minutes away from Five Cowry Creek. We had dogs, geese and chickens running around our backyard and a vegetable patch that used to flood during the raining season. It was one adventure after the other and indoors we had a library of Jane Austen, Huck Finn and other books. I took the usual piano, ballet and tennis lessons that my friends were taking and did not excel in any. I couldn’t be bothered to practice. My father was a Moslem and my mother is a Christian, so on Fridays I had Quoranic lessons with a Syrian family that lived down the road, and on Sundays I went to church. I attended Corona School in Ikoyi and after school played with kids in my neighborhood and of course we fought too. We had gangs and went from house to house by bicycle. It was a regular childhood until my father died when I was eight. That was a difficult time. He was the head of the Civil Service and I found out that he had died from a newspaper headline. My family moved to another neighborhood by the Lagos Lagoon. The place was full of expats. Our neighbors were French and Austrian and their children didn’t speak English. We loved our new house though. Our garden led right into the lagoon and my mother had a speedboat. She would take us to a remote beach called Olomo Meta. It was great. She also began to travel overseas with us. You can imagine a Yoruba woman with five children in tow showing up at a bullfight in Seville or wherever. People just used to stare at us. My mother gave me that sense of being a citizen of the world. Roots and wings. She was very proud of Yoruba culture and embraced all cultures.

- Read the interview here.

... and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says:

"Many of the stories we tell have already been told. It is the freshness we bring to the re-telling that matters."

Read the rest here.


Blogger St Antonym said...

Fantastic excerpt from Sefi: fond reminiscence of a childhood as rich as Garcia-Marquez's. That'll be great material for a book someday.

And excellent interview too. Thanks for the link.

10:34 pm, May 16, 2006  

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