Yvonne Owuor is the author of Dust, a lyrical novel about loss and mourning. She was born in Kenya and won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003.

With stern discipline, I rise with the first bird, salute the dawn, have a healthy breakfast of fruits.

[I] wander over to my faux-oak desk, tap the On button on my Macbook Air, acknowledge the muse, and skip into the world where the story flows over the day and into the night.

The truth, and nothing but the truth, is that dawn begins with a wrestling match with my soul and a systematic rejection of all the other useful possibilities a day offers.

I make obeisance to the story, its characters, and the muse with burnt offerings.

I do need to find inner tranquillity and get into a “zone” before I switch on the computer to work on a story.

Only after this do I enter the story world, where I meet the characters and, together, we work through the day and night.

When conditions are right, it is a simple thing to forget that time and food exist.

If life’s other offerings prove more tantalizing, I succumb to temptation and go gallivanting and do all sorts of other meaningful things in the manner of most professional procrastinators.

[click here read to complete interview]


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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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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.

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