Writer Sefi Atta is interviewed by Miriam N Kotzin in the new issue of Per Contra online.
I’m an African writer published in the West. I have seen how publishing industries in the West accommodate African writers. For a start, our stories are either about post-colonial traumas or human and civil rights abuses. As an American writer once said, which surprised me because he sounded so Nigerian, “For an African book to be successful here, a leg must cut.“ I laughed so much. Some writers can do whatever is necessary to get published and win awards, and the marketplace here rewards you if you meet its expectations. All I can do is keep on telling stories that interest me in honest ways. Now, it’s hard to define honest, but it’s very easy to tell when a story lacks integrity.
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