Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Taiye-selasi-moleskin

In this video clip of an interview in Denmark,  Taiye Selasi shares one small bit of personal detail about the labor that went into producing her debut novel. 

Selasi began writing Ghana Must Go in Copenhagen. The first 100 pages came uninterrupted in what she calls, “one contiguous flow.”

The next 200 was a different matter. First there was six months of writer’s block between page 100 and page 101.

Desperate situation calls for desperate measures.

“I moved to Rome,” she says, “I broke up with my lover. I changed everything that I could think to change and finally I was able to write again.”

#NOTE to my fellow writers, next time you feel lost and the words just aren’t coming, you must ditch boy to regain the zen-like flow of your creative power. It’s called the casualties of creativity.

On a more serious note, Selasi’s experience points to the strange and costly beauty of the labor of writing.

There’s more in the interview—why she hates the term “multinational” as a form of identity, why she hates being questioned about returning to Ghana, why Afropolitanism emerges from a place of crisis, and much more.

The interview is engaging. The literary diva is chipper and elegant in the 14-minute reflection on writing and the politics of identity.

Enjoy!


Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014,

Feature image by Nadav Kander {HERE}

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.

4 Responses to “New Video: Taiye Selasi On Writers Block, Boys (sort of), And Moving Back To Ghana” Subscribe

  1. stefan 2014/02/17 at 01:19 #

    always ditch the boy! words to live by.

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/17 at 09:50 #

    Ha ha ha.

  3. M G 2015/05/11 at 04:50 #

    The comment about the Italians marrying Ethiopians and not being able to get out stuck in my mind. What is she talking about!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Video: Taiye Selasi on How the Media Fixates on Politics When Reading African Novels | Penguin SA - 2014/03/09

    […] Selasi began writing Ghana Must Go in Copenhagen. The first 100 pages came uninterrupted in what she calls, “one contiguous flow.” Complete article: Brittle Paper […]

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology | Read e-Book Exploring Millennial Sex Culture and Romance in African Cities

erotic-africa

Much has been said about the state of sex in African literature: whether African novelists are keen on sex, why […]

Zimbabwean Mapping Project Documents the Movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare

dambudzo marechera - graph

An unusual mapping project has documented the movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare. “Home Means Nothing to Me,” published in […]

Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia Gets Animation Movie | Watch Teaser

The Passport of Mallam Ilia - animation

Cyprian Ekwensi’s popular novel The Passport of Mallam Ilia is being made into an animated movie. Premium Times reports that the 2D […]

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible Makes Vogue’s Must-Read Books of 2018

yrsa daley-ward - image by Laurel Grolio for Girls At Library

Nigerian-Jamaican model-turned-Instapoet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir has been named among Vogue magazine’s Must-Read Books of 2018. The follow […]

Film Adaptation of Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, by Dapo Adeniyi, Tells the Story of the Legend as a Child in the 1940s | Watch Trailer 

Egba women wait on Mrs Kuti at the outset of the women’s riot3

The film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s 1981 memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood is now available on Amazon. Set during the World […]

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology Forthcoming in December

erotic-africa

Twelve months after the call for submissions was made in January, we are happy to announce that Erotic Africa: The Sex […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.