We continue our series of chats with authors appearing at this year’s International Literature Festival.
Helon Habila brings his 2011 novel Oil on Water to the ILB – a novel that blurs the lines between a political thriller and global crime novel and garnering Habila international acclaim in the process. The Nigerian writer is also an established short story author and poet, as well as contributing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review and editor of The Granta Book of the African Short Story. Born in Lagos, he now lives in Virginia. Habila will take part in two events: a discussion of crime-thrillers with Nigerian connections (Sep 9, 19:30) as well as his reading (Sep 12, 19:30).
Describe yourself in three words starting with the same letter…
Creative. Careful. Confident.
Who is your favourite character?
At the moment Clarissa Dalloway.
What is your recurring literary nightmare?
Having to send off an incomplete work. Not having enough time for re-writes and edits.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Blindness by Saromugu, 100 Years of Solitude by Marquez or House of Hunger by Marechera.
Describe your first memory of writing…
Being alone, in my room, at around 16 or 17, and writing till it grew dark and I had to get up and turn on the light.
If I weren’t a writer I’d be…
In a position where I can influence people and make a difference… A businessman or a politician?