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Last week, British Somalian writer and visual artist Diriye Osman announced the forthcoming release of his debut novel We Once Belonged to the Sea. September 2018 is a long time to wait, but it’s okay since we know it’s going to be worth it.

A little over two years ago, Osman come on our radar when he published Fairytales for Lost Children, a brilliant little collection of short stories exploring same sex love and desire.

This time around, he’s written a novel and, in a beautiful note addressed to his readers, he says that the novel is “an achievement” of which he is very “proud.”

In the letter¬†which was published on The Huffington Post, Osman said that he composed the novel over one year by writing a hundred words at a time in the Notes app on his Iphone. Inspiring, right? He plans to share more on this truly fascinating writing process in a short film that will be released around the time of the novel’s publication.

He is planning an elaborate campaign for the book. There’ll be “signed limited edition postcards, a beautifully narrated audiobook, signed giveaways, Soundcloud recordings and much more.”

More details about the book will be available as the publication date draws closer. Meanwhile, keep a close eye on his website (diriyeosman.com) so you don’t miss anything.

Here is an excerpt of the letter:

Dear reader,

Three years ago, I published my debut collection of short stories, Fairytales for Lost Children. A lot of things happened after I wrote that book, most of which was brilliant and affirming. That small book, all 150 pages of it, connected me with some of the most beautiful, inspiring people. It was a heart-reshaping experience and I thank you for that invaluable support.

My debut novel is now complete and will be published in September 2018. This book began with a strange amalgamation of confidence and confusion. I had initially planned on writing another short story collection. As the months zipped by, however, I realized that this piece of writing called for a larger canvas: a novelistic approach.

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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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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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