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Jude Dibia and Kaine Agary

Meet the authors of the two novels that made the final shortlist of the NLNG Prize for Literature, 2008. In this chat, Jude Dibia, author of Unbridled and Kaine Agary, author of Yellow Yellow give a peek into their writing and the value of a book. Agary’s Yellow Yellow was awarded the prize.

jude-dibia

How many books do you read at once?

Two or three at any given time.

What books are currently on your bedside table?

James Baldwin’s Another Country, which I am re-reading. Also Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Chika Unigwe’s The Phoenix.

What book changed your life?

I have never really thought of that before . . . I have read quite a number of books that made a huge impact on me, but it’s hard to say which book in particular has changed my life.

Have you ever bought a copy of your own book?

I have actually, but only because I wanted to send out copies to some friends who live out of the country and who couldn’t find my books to buy.

Where do you write best?

I write best in a quiet place. It could be my living room or office as long as I can concentrate and there are no distractions.

Favorite snack while writing?

I’ll have to say a glass of red wine.

What inspires your writing?

My interactions with people and my environment. I find that I learn a lot just by listening to people. Sometimes I could catch a stray comment that would lead to a story idea.

Have you ever imitated another writer’s style?

Do writers do that? Well, I have never consciously tried to imitate another writer’s style. When I write, I am not thinking about other writers’ style but the story I am trying to tell. The story determines the style for me.

What is the worth of a book?

Good books are priceless. Once a book can achieve most of its goals, and in that, I mean its ability to inspire, inform, entertain and elicit the appropriate emotional reaction, then it is worth every penny spent on getting it and becomes priceless.

 

Kaine Agary

How many books do you read at once?

One.

What books are currently on your bedside table?

Allah is not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma.

What book changed your life?

A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary by Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Have you ever bought a copy of your own book?

Yes.

Where do you write best?

In my bedroom.

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

Right now, Fidel Castro.

What inspires your writing?

Life experiences (mine and others around me), the news and my fantasies.

Have you ever imitated another writer’s style?

Not consciously.

What is the worth of a book?

Different books have different worth—for some books it’s the value of a trip to an exotic destination, others are priceless.

 

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