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    • Farafina 16
      Featuring the work of Tolu Ogunlesi, uzodinma Iweala, Doreen Baingana, Jumoke Verissimo and Kachi A. Ozumba, Monica Arac de Nyeko, Zadie Smith and Teju Cole.
    • Farafina Yellow Bow
      The Farafina Yellow Bow project gives 100% of subscription payments to charity
    • Farafina 14
      Farafina 14 was a special issue compiled in response to the 2008 election crisis in Kenya.
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Farafina Magazine Visual Arts & Literature Event

Farafina magazine invites you to join us for our premiere Visual Arts & Literature event holding at Bambuddha Restaurant on the 13th of December, 2008 at 2p.m. There will be a photography exhibition (by Adolphus Opara), a film screening (selected clips from Molara Wood’s interview with acclaimed writer, Ben Okri), spoken word performances, and readings by Nnedi Okorafor and Eghosa Imasuen.

Nnedi Okorafor is the author of the novels Zahrah the Windseeker and The Shadow Speaker. An illustrated version of Zahrah the Windseeker was published in July 2008 by Farafina. It won the 2008 Wole Soyinka prize for Literature. Visit Nnedi’s blog: http://nnedi.blogspot.com/

Below is Nnedi’s interview which was featured in issue 15 of Farafina magazine:

What time of the day do you write most?

The early morning.

What books are currently on your bedside table?

I Refuse to Die: My Journey for Freedom by Koigi wa Wamwere and a comic book series called Castle Waiting by Linda Medley.

What would you change about yourself?

Absolutely nothing. Not even my imperfections. I am what I am. Well, I wouldn’t mind my feet being the same size. One is a full size bigger than the other. Makes it hard to find shoes that fit. Ha ha.

What will you call your kind of writing—science fiction, magical realism or fantasy?

I call it mine. Categories annoy me. Too often, they are incorrect, incomplete and limiting. Editors and publishers call my work African fantasy and science fiction. Magical realism is just a subcategory of fantasy.

How does your writing influence your life?

It gives it purpose and focus. It’s often therapeutic. For example, when my father passed, I channeled all my pain into a novel. I literally started writing it right after he passed. That novel is the best and most painful thing I’ve written to date. I don’t know how I’d have gotten through that time without that novel to write.

What inspires your writing?

Everything. All people, incidents, beasts, creatures and things I encounter have a chance of making it into my stories. Honestly, this earth we live on is a grand inspiration.

How would you introduce your child to literature?

I read to her every night and whenever she wants me to read to her. I take her to the library and bookstore. I put books in her room. I talk about books. I teach her to read. And I buy her books. I make books seem more important and more magical than television and music.

Who would you most like to sit next to at a dinner party?

The director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy series, Guillermo del Toro. I swear he and I share part of the same mind, plus I hear he’s far from boring.

What is the worth of a book?

Books contain centuries and generations, yet can be carried around; they keep you up at night; they incite change, hilarity, tears, rage, joy; they bring things to life right behind your eyes; they show you death; they give you deep experience without having to leave your home; they affect children and adults; they can show you different planets and worlds; and they live on long after you are gone. Books are priceless.



Eghosa Imasuen
is a medical doctor and a writer. His first novel, To Saint Patrick, was published by Farafina in August 2008.

Below are excerpts from Eghosa’s interview with Farafina magazine:

Have you ever bought a copy of your own book?

Yes o. I bought twenty copies to distribute to family and friends.

Who would you most like to sit next to at a dinner party?

Ben Elton. After watching his stuff on shows like Thin Blue Line and The Black Adder, and having read his wickedly witty novels, I’d love to speak to him, pick his brain, so to speak.

What time of the day do you write most?

Late at night, between 11 pm and 3 am.

What book did you enjoy reading most?

Ben Elton’s Stark. You have to pick your way through its lines to find an unfunny sentence.

What are you scared of?

Not being understood. Losing family.

What book do you wish you had written?

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie. Page after page of the most decievingly simple prose you can think of; not one wasted sentence. And its subject matter?

What would you change about yourself?

The colour of my hair. It takes on a golden sheen when it’s overgrown. If I was an oyinbo I would have been a ginger.

How would you introduce your child to literature?

Already started it. The first of my twins loves books. They are just eight months old now but you should see the way Ethan chews through my books; literally chews o. With his two bottom teeth.

Have you ever imitated another writer’s style?

That’s so difficult to answer. Have I read stuff I’d written and found that it sounded like

what I’d just read? Maybe. But consciously imitate? No.

Where does the writer and doctor in you meet?

When I take history from patients. They seem impressed that I can give voice to most of what they are feeling; that I seem to find the words that hang in the pauses between the, “Doctor, it’s em . . .” and “No it was em . . .” phrases.

Who is your perfect reader?

One that comes to the story with an open mind, with an aim to enjoy what he reads; one that comes to be entertained.

What is the worth of a book?

The story it contains; the joy, the tears; the laughter . . . and the money you doled out for it.

What is the hardest thing to write about?

Sex.

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