Friday, August 10, 2007

Chris Abani at TED

Click here to download the mp4. Thanks Natasha for the link.

In a funny and personal talk, novelist and poet Chris Abani searches for the heart of Africa through her poems and narratives -- including his own narrative of artistic and political awakening, starting with an inventive teacher who taught him the forbidden history of his own people.

How, he asks, can we reconcile stories of terror and war and corruption (and these, he points out, not only in Africa) with one's enduring sense of pure wonder?

Chris Abani's first novel, published when he was 16, was Masters of
the Board, a political thriller about a foiled Nigerian coup.
Whatever its literary merits, the story was convincing enough that
the Nigerian government charged him with planning a coincidentally
timed real-life coup -- and he was thrown in jail. Imprisoned and
tortured twice more, he channeled the experience into searing
poetry that Harold Pinter called "the most naked, harrowing
expression of prison life and political torture imaginable."
Abani's best-selling 2004 novel GraceLand is a searing and funny
tale of a young Nigerian boy, an Elvis impersonator who moves
through the wide, wild world of Lagos, slipping between pop and
traditional cultures, art and crime. It's a perennial book-club
pick, a story that brings the postcolonial African experience to
vivid life. Based in Los Angeles, Abani published The Virgin of
Flames in 2007. He is also a publisher, running the poetry imprint
Black Goat Press.


Fred 4:06 pm  

Is that you, Idi? Uncanny.

Sorry, but I don't understand Abani's cachet: the man's practically unreadable.

Favoured Girl 4:34 pm  

I just heard about him today, someone was discussing his work and I decided to check him out. His website details his work so far:

Afolabi 11:10 pm  

WOW...he was arrested for the book he wrote when he was 16....This guy is an inspiration to me. I have aspirations of being a writer. If he could do it. I believe I can, no matter how young I am.

Anonymous,  9:34 pm  

bunch of us read "graceland". Thot was quite rubbish, really. tooooo many holes, but thats another story for another day. ah... just saw fred's comment. great minds, fredo, great minds...

Anonymous,  7:07 pm  

Fred - your name should be GRIPE. You seem to be made up of two negative poles

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP