Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Writer as a placeless member of the Society of the Imagination

Photo Credit: Ian Williams for The National Post

Henry Krempels has a great interview with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie over at Daily Beast. He is particularly interested in the ways in which the city of Lagos inspires her writing. Adichi shares that Lagos gives so much to complain about and at the same time, so much to love... especially for a writer. For example, she says gets annoyed about sitting in traffic entirely too much and at the same time recognizes the endless possibilities for stories to write about that very same experience. Who are the people sitting and waiting with you? What is happening in their lives? 

Do you think it matters where a writer comes from when considering their ideas? Does the idea of place still exist for a writer?
It's nice to imagine it doesn't but it does. If you are a writer from a country like Nigeria or Pakistan or Sudan or Bangladesh, you are much more likely to be aware of where you come from because you'll have trouble with travel - the process of applying for a visa would itself make a short story. And it belies the idea of the writer as a placeless member of the Society of the Imagination. 

I wish I could put her in conversation with Jhumpa Lahiri.

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