Thursday, July 22, 2010

Women Writers of Color: Lola Shoneyin

Full name: Titilola Shoneyin

Birth date: 26 February 1974

Location: Abuja, Nigeria


Genre: Fiction, poetry

WiP or most recently published work:
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

Writing credits:

So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg; 1997 (Poems)
Song of a Riverbird; 2002 (Poems)
For the Love of Flight 2010 (Poems)

How frequently do you update your site?
When there’s news...

Is your site designed for reader interaction?
No, I tend to communicate with readers through email and my fan page on facebook.

Post of note, something in particular you want readers to check out:
The poems on my website

Top 5 reads you’re looking forward to reading in 2010?
An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender
Overcoming Speechlessness by Alice Walker
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell
Swallow by Sefi Atta

100 words or less how would you describe your work?
I enjoy writing about women, and the experiences of African women in particular because she is underrepresented in literature. For too long, she has been defined by cliché, sketchily captured on magazine covers that I fear the world is missing out on her rich, exciting, sometimes unique complexity. When writing therefore, it is important that I capture her ways, her words, her sighs and her triumphs, her humour. A young lady once told me that The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives was too raunchy. I was taken aback because I could only remember one occasion in the book where I had to describe a woman deriving pleasure from sex after years of painful, uncomfortable intercourse. Now that bit had to be sexy, didn’t it?

100 words on less please share your thoughts on one of the following topics:
I have a lot to thank black women writers for because it was reading their work that gave me the courage to express myself in verse. It was the honesty of their writing that told that maybe, just maybe, my story was important too. Where would I be without Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon? At university, my thesis was based on the African presence in this illuminating novel. I worked tirelessly and got an ‘A’, all the time driven by the fact that this single novel had shown me, an African, how significant my Africanness was. It was both a humbling and a liberating discovery.


LM Preston said...

I love the colors on the cover. I'm a poetry lover and when I was in college I would snap up tons of books of poetry. I even held on to some of them.

Aarti said...

I'm reading this now! I liked it more at the beginning than where I am now, in the middle, but hopefully it picks up again to the end!

evelyn.n.alfred said...

I think I'm going to need to get this.

Cath said...

This book is SO on my list. I love the cover!