Sefi Atta, winner of the 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa for her debut novel Everything Good Will Come, is a
Nigerian-born author and playwright, recipient of PEN
International’s 2004/2005 David T.K. Wong Prize, among other awards.
She is a graduate of Antioch University’s creative writing
with Sefi Atta
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Sefi Atta: Four years. I wrote them between 2002 and 2006.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
some point I began to, but not the collection I eventually ended up
with, as I would write a new story and oust an old one. The collection
changed until I had enough stories that had a common theme.
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
SA: I chose stories that referred to news reports and left the order to my editor.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
SA: Gossip. Village gossip. That’s all my stories come down to.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
I started off writing plays, so for me it’s more like an audience.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
SA: Honestly, no, but I hope reading it is worthwhile.
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
SA: I’m very thankful and somewhat nervous.
What are you working on now?
SA: A thoroughly modern Nigerian novel about a woman who fails to live up to expectations.
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
SA: The Complete Stories of Truman Capote, Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger and I’m now reading A Marriage of Convenience by Andrew Plattner, who wrote Winter Money. He is a winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award For Short Fiction and his storytelling is classic American, which I enjoy. A Marriage of Convenience will be published by BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.