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 program. 

Short Story Collections

News From Home
(Lubin & Kleyner, Imprint of Flipped Eye Publishing, 2009)

reviewed by Michelle Tandoc-Pichereau

Interview with Sefi Atta

The Short Review: 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.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

SA: At 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.

TSR: How did 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.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

SA:  Gossip. Village gossip. That’s all my stories come down to.

TSR: Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?

SA:  I started off writing plays, so for me it’s more like an audience.

TSR: Is there 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.

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

SA: I’m very thankful and somewhat nervous.

TSR: What are you working on now?

SA: A thoroughly modern Nigerian novel about a woman who fails to live up to expectations.

TSR: What are 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.
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Find out what other authors, from Aimee Bender to Sana Krasikov, said about their collections, what the word "story" means to them, and how it feels to know that people are buying your books! More interviews >>>

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