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2016 was a remarkable year for the Somalian 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’s writing has been shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the 2017 Gerald Kraak Award, and nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in Transition (“A Tenderer Blessing,” 2015), The Threepenny Review (“Mulumba,” 2016), and Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality (“You Sing of a Longing,” 2017), an anthology of The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His work further appears in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays, Africa in Dialogue, and Brittle Paper, where he is submissions editor. He is the editor of the Art Naija Series: a sequence of concept-based e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness. The first anthology, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (Oct., 2016) focuses on cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June, 2017) focuses on professions. He attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and currently teaches English at another Nigerian university. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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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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