I didn’t think any­one would be in­ter­ested in my book, says award-win­ning writer

Sunday Trust - - ARTS & IDEAS -

and get into the car now, “Sun­day School!” Even as an un­der­stand­ing hu­man be­ing.

One thing I found fas­ci­nat­ing about the novel is the de­pic­tion of sib­ling ri­valry through the char­ac­ters of Ajie and Bibi. How im­por­tant do you think this ri­valry was in shap­ing the in­di­vid­u­als they both grow up to be?

I don’t know if I can an­swer that. I’m ask­ing these ques­tions my­self.

It has be­come the norm for books set in the Niger Delta to touch on the im­pact of oil com­pa­nies in those com­mu­ni­ties. How im­por­tant do you think lit­er­a­ture is in giv­ing voice to this ag­i­ta­tions or rais­ing aware­ness of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues in the Niger Delta?

Lit­er­a­ture is made of things in life. There is noth­ing else we have to make lit­er­a­ture. All these things men­tioned above are in life and there­fore wor­thy sub­jects of lit­er­a­ture. I don’t know about “giv­ing voice to ag­i­ta­tion”. A more ef­fec­tive way of do­ing that would be more overt po­lit­i­cal ac­tions like protest, lob­by­ing, pam­phle­teer­ing, ar­gu­ing, vot­ing, boy­cotting prod­ucts, pres­sur­ing govern­ment, ev­ery­thing hu­manly pos­si­ble apart from say killing our­selves.

Your writ­ing is lush and mea­sured. Is this born out of some kind of writerly in­flu­ence and what writ­ers might this be?

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