The past few years have been a particularly fertile period for American publishing from authors of Nigerian and West African origin. In Episode 37 of the PEN/Faulkner podcast, we brought Okey Ndibe, Chinelo Okparanta, and Taiye Selasi together to read from their work and discuss the breadth of writing about, and within, this community. Writer and PEN/Faulkner board member Dolen Perkins-Valdez moderated.
Okey Ndibe is a novelist, political columnist, and founding editor of the magazine African Commentary. His novels include Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc., and he teaches fiction and African literature at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Chinelo Okparanta is the author of the story collection Happiness, Like Water. Born in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, she is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, and the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her stories have appeared in Granta, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.
Taiye Selasi is the author of the novel Ghana Must Go. Born in London and raised in Massachusetts, she holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University. She lives in Rome, Italy.
Thank you to Benedict Kupstas and Field Guides for donating the music used in this episode. Listen here to Field Guides’ album Boo, Forever.