Winner of Africa’s largest literary prize, the Nigeria Prize for Literature, for On Black Sisters’ Street (2009) and author of three other novels and various short stories in anthologies and journals, including Wasafiri and Moving Worlds, Chika Unigwe has been hailed as a “third-generation” Nigerian writer alongside other notable young writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chris Abani. In this interview, conducted right before her relocation to the United States, Unigwe reflects on what Africa means to her as a Nigerian author who has lived in Belgium for almost two decades and how her move to Europe influenced her as a person and especially as a writer. Touching on issues such as labeling, home, language, and colonization, she openly speaks of her frustrations with racism in Belgium, her therapeutic motivations for writing, and what it has meant to her to win the Nigeria Prize for Literature. At the end of the interview she also briefly comments on her latest novel about Olaudah Equiano, the famous African ex-slave whose self-published 1789 autobiography supported the British anti-slavery movement.


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pp. 26-34
Launched on MUSE
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