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taiye-selasi-net-a-porter1We currently have a crush on Taiye Selasi. Don’t judge. We are simply captivated by the portrait of a woman who carries her literary profession and her love for fashion with such grace and elegance.

{Check out her recent high profile photo shoot HERE}

Women like Selasi refuse to choose between intellectual prowess and a commitment to high fashion. Nothing absurd about writing for three hours and then putting on false eyelashes while deciding whether to wear Jimmy Choo or a Louboutin heels to a fashion interview. 

In a recent interview with Net-A-Porter—an online luxury retailer—, Selasi reveals a bit about her life as a writer, heart break, and her obsession with fashion.

“Writing,” Taiye says, “is a calling and an obligation.” If her debut novel is anything to go by, she has answered that calling with passion and great talent. But she also “loves the miracle of a comfortable pair of significant heels.”

That’s why she’s the first to grace a category we have invented for women like herself—The Diva-Intellectual. 

For those of you wondering about the ideas behind her flawless sense of style, check out her “Style Resume.”

 

STYLE RÉSUMÉ

taiye-selasi-net-a-porter2

NAME: Taiye Selasi

PROFESSION: Novelist

MY STYLE: A hybrid. I mix my Nigerian mother’s love of color with my own experience of growing up on the East Coast, where neutrals are everything

FAIL-SAFE PIECES: I love heels, but Rome’s cobblestones have taught me a grudging love of flats

GO-TO LABELS: For the perfect gray T-shirt, Alexander Wang

 

Dressing up is for Selasi both an expression of power— “Sometimes women are a bit like warriors going into battle. You think, ‘Today I’m going out into the world to conquer and suitable armor is required.’”— and an element in the art of seduction—“In the performance of womanhood, you’re setting yourself up to hunt and be hunted.”

 It appears that the novelist’s heart was very recently broken, as is evident from this statement:

Lately, I had the experience that I think every woman should have once: I rushed into something. My whole life, [even during] university at Yale and Oxford, I’ve always been very rational and careful, and then after my first novel was published, I decided to erase all that and I ended up in a whirlwind of a relationship that just recently ended.

“Does heartbreak help the writing?”

Yes, you go into a pit of despair and come out with a book in your hand. I’m cheerful about romantic disasters. A good cry, a stiff drink and the company of friends helps. We had a joke that in the life of a woman who travels, there are some men who areamuse-bouches. Palate cleansers, if you like…

Read the full interview HERE.

We wish her the best as she weathers through this “romantic disaster” and continues work on her second novel.

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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.

2 Responses to “Taiye Selasi on Weathering Romantic Disasters and Loving Vera Wang” Subscribe

  1. Obinna Udenwe May 26, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Owh. So when we break the heart of female writers it serves as muse for them to write novels. Ain’t we guys great? Lol!

  2. Catherine Onyemelukwe May 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Selasi combines her Nigerian mother’s love of color and her long experience of East Coast neutrals well. I try to do a little of that. I love neutrals but my 24 years in Nigeria gave me a love of color, sometimes lots of it!

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