SECOND BOOK SYNDROME: PART 4
Taiye Selasi on second book syndrome and learning to surrender
Taiye Selasi is a writer and photographer of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent, born in London and raised in Boston, she studied both Latin and music. Taiye is herself a study in the modern meaning of identity. In 2005 she published the much-discussed (and controversial) essay Bye-Bye, Babar (Or: What Is an Afropolitan?), offering an alternative vision of African identity for a transnational generation. Prompted by writer Toni Morrison, the following year she published the short story The Sex Lives of African Girls in the literary magazine, Granta.
Her first novel Ghana Must Go, published in 2013 and is a tale of family drama and reconciliation, following six characters and spanning generations, continents, genders and classes. It was acclaimed by Diana Evans in the Guardian and by Margaret Busby in The Independent. It was also selected as one of the ‘10 Best Books of 2013’ by The Wall Street Journal and The Economist and has sold in translation across the world.
Taiye was selected as one of Granta′s 20 Best Young British Writers in 2013 and she was named on the Hay Festival's Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers under the age of 40 as having ‘the potential and talent to define trends in African literature’.
I remember the first time I read her writing, it was her short story, The Sex Lives of African Girls and I was blown away. I can’t put to words the impact that story had on me, how it’s stayed with me. Her writing has hugely inspired my own, especially her use of second person narration in this particular short story. I also adored Ghana Must Go, so I’m excited to see what Taiye will publish next.
Her last novel published in 2013, so I was interested to hear from her when it comes to second novel syndrome. Taiye talked about surrendering and learning to live with the discomfort of writing a second book.
Over to Taiye…
1. What does ‘second book syndrome’ mean to you?
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