ainehi-edoro-ms-paper

 

Dear Ms. Paper:

I am in love! And he’s an African writer—one of the popular ones, if I may say so. We met at a literary festival where I volunteered. The connection was instant. We were inseparable all through the festival. Since then, we’ve spent a whole lot of time together. He’s into me…at least, that’s what I want to think. But, I’m worried that even though it’s been a few months since we first met, he hasn’t yet made THE move. My New Year’s resolution is to get us into official dating mode as soon as possible…by Val Day would be ideal. I was wondering if you might have a tip or two on how to get him hooked?

Hello:

Winning the heart of an African writer will make you the luckiest girl in the world. So, let’s get you those tips you need to snag him for good.

By the way, feel free to skip to tip #6.

1. Narcissism is a common virtue among African writers. He has to think of you as a worshipful fan. So read every single thing he’s ever written. His novels are probably tiresome and heavy-handed, so you’re likely not in for a treat. But you’ll get massive girl-friend points. 

2. It’s only a matter of time before you undergo THE infamous drill. He would want to know if you’ve read Things Fall Apart. Your answer should be yes, and nothing but yes. Lie if you have to. No African writer will forgive you for not having read Achebe’s classic. 

3. He’s an alcoholic. All writers are. So for Valentine’s Day, ditch the idea of getting him a book. Get him a Hennessy VSOP. 

4. He will write about you in his novels, whether you like it or not. This essentially means that when he kisses, he is bound to tell his entire readership, but hey, see it as collateral damage. 

5. From time to time, he will ask you to read drafts of his work. Know that he wants praise and not criticism. To an African writer, the world is divided into praise singers and haters. I don’t have to tell you which of the two is the best fit for you. 

6. If all these fails, there is always the option of buying his love. Tucked inside every male African writer is a gigolo. At some point, you will realize the bitter truth. He is broke, and perennially so. Yeah, he can’t live on the sales of his book. Didn’t you hear? Nobody is buying or reading novels anymore. So, my dear, start saving up. If he’s as popular as you claim, he’s probably going to cost a fortune. 

Hope this helps. Wishing you all the best and that wedding bells ring loudly in your corner of the world real soon.

 

********************************

#DearMsPaper is a fictional agony-aunt series that parodies readers, critics, and writers in the African literary scene.  

Previously on #DearMsPaper

Dear Ms. Paper: Can I Dump Him For Not Knowing Who Achebe Is?

Dear Ms. Paper: Save Me From This Boring African Novel

 

Tags: , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

10 Responses to “Dear Ms. Paper: Help! I’m In Love with an African Novelist” Subscribe

  1. Pearl Osibu 2015/01/18 at 10:33 #

    Oh god, I love this!!!!!

  2. Barbara 2015/01/18 at 10:49 #

    Brilliant!

  3. Blind Rasta man 2015/01/18 at 12:04 #

    Always be aware that whatever did happened betwixt you and a writer, (you) will end up being bought in the market as a reading material.
    Funny but true! #DearMsPaper

  4. wana 2015/01/20 at 11:10 #

    i love MsPaper…i absolutely love her

  5. Ainehi Edoro 2015/01/20 at 13:15 #

    @Wana.

    Merci mille fois!

  6. Ainehi Edoro 2015/01/21 at 05:24 #

    Happy you do Pearl.

  7. Ainehi Edoro 2015/01/21 at 05:24 #

    Thanks!

  8. Enos Kwaku Dade Boadu 2015/01/31 at 09:05 #

    The gigolo part hard me laughing to ears… Really! Interesting though

  9. Farida 2016/06/24 at 11:08 #

    Hahaha! This I love with all my heart.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dear Ms. Paper: I Want to Kill My (Tribalist) Editor! | Brittle Paper - 2015/02/25

    […] Dear Ms. Paper: Help! I’m In Love with an African Novelist […]

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Railroad Children | By Osinachi | A Story

Osinachi railroad

“Standing there hand in hand, we stared at the first coach, old questions renewed in our eyes. We looked up […]

And They Say Dreams Are Meant For Sleeping | By Zulaikhah | African Fiction

5896616864_795134a9dc_o

“Then she would see a cockroach on her bedroom wall, staring back at her languidly as it cleaned its antennas […]

Someone Different | By Emmanuel Etop Idem | A Poem

calabar Idem

IN Calabar, night falls solemnly: the lulling feets of homegoers call to me, the smell of exhaustion permeates the streets, […]

Last Days | By Amynah Dauda | A Story

last days Dauda

“Whenever Talatu hears Olo’s name, two things happen: first, she calls her a witch; second, she forgets that we three […]

Dear Genevieve | Words are Powerful, Speak the Truth, Even if Your Voice Shakes (pt. 6) | by Pa Ikhide

  Here in my part of America, the leaves are falling, the heart stirs and I am restless. There are […]

Binyavanga Wainaina’s Granta Essay is Beautifully Experimental

binyavanga granta (1)

Binyavanga Wainaina has a new essay in Granta‘s latest travel issue. The title of the essay is “Everything Was Suddening […]