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adichie Ian Willms for National Post

 

John Williams: You teach writing in your home country. What are two or three principles you think it’s important to instill in young writers?

Chimamanda Adichie: This is what I tell my students: read widely, read what you don’t like and read what you like, and try not to consciously write like either. And writing has to matter in a deep way. You have to make the time to actually write — seems obvious enough, but I often hear from people who say they want to write but have no time. And finally I tell them not to think of family and relatives and friends when they write, otherwise they will censor themselves without even knowing it.
“Africans on Writing”  is a collection of short remarks by African writers on writing and the writing life. 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.
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