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2016 was a remarkable year for the Somali writer Abdul Adan. His short story, “The Lifebloom Gift,” was shortlisted for the Caine Prize and his proposal for a novel won him a Miles Morland Scholarship. We also published an interview with him.

Last week, Kenya’s Nation Media Group ran a profile on him titled “Abdul Adan’s Long Walk from El Wak to Hallowed Literary Halls.”

It is a tender story of how, as a primary school child, he wrote a book entitled A Trip to the Countryside.

His father paid a local with a big printer to publish the book, A Trip to the Countryside, about five years later when he was in high school. His cousin, Ibrahim Adan, who had a degree in literature edited it and his father sold this book from the counter of his general hardware shop.

Years later, he moved to the US and worked as a taxi-driver in Chicago. His first short story, “Old Ibren,” was published in African Writing in 2010. And then “A Bag of Oranges” in Kwani? later that year. And then in 2014, his “The Somalification of James” earned an honorable mention by the Caine Prize. And then, late last year, his Miles Morland win.

For fans who are curious about his debut novel, here is what we know.

The novel will revolve around the narrator who has been deported from the US and leaves in the border town of El WaK. He suffers from an obsession of analysing people. They include a girl from Seattle whom he thinks is too airy and forgettable, a dead poet from Kazakhstan whose suicide note the narrator comes across in a journal, and a radical-extremist who applies lubricants on his hostages before executing them.

Read the full piece HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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