Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta is one of the best novels written by a Nigerian author I have ever read. Atta writes from a unique point of view – a progressive, middle-class one, and most importantly, Enitan, the narrative’s main character, breaks the mould of what a Nigerian woman should be. I spoke briefly to the author during this year’s Kapittel Literature Festival held in Stavanger, Norway.
- Isioma Daniel
Now, the Q & A...
- Isioma Daniel: Why did you choose to write about a middle-class Nigerian girl?
- Sefi Atta: I thought it would be easier to write about what I knew. It was only marginally easier. The middle-class Nigerian experience has really not been examined in our literature and as a reader, I’d always wondered why. As a writer, I have come to realize that publishers overseas are not that interested in stories about privileged cosmopolitan black African characters--or so it seems to me.
- ID: Would you call your book a feminist novel for Nigerian women?
- SA: It is a novel for anyone who is interested in reading it.
- ID: What's your writing process like?
- SA: I finish my first drafts in three to six months and then revise for years. I wrote my second novel, Swallow, five or six years ago. I started sending it out to publishers this year and it will be published in Nigeria in 2007.
- ID: Who is/are your audience(s)?
- SA: I am very much aware of an audience, a world audience. I write so that someone in Ghana might understand or someone in India or someone in Norway. Nigerians are my primary audience though. I always want Nigerians to say of my stories, yes, this is realistic.