Jola Naibi has one of those clear, honest writing voices that makes just about anything interesting. But she hasn't settled for writing about ordinary things. Naibi's short stories are populated with relate-able, well-developed characters, and the sights and sounds of Lagos, Nigeria, provide a stimulating backdrop.

Jola Naibi joins us at the Book Pound today for an interview:

When did you first want to be a writer? How did you go about developing your writing skills?

I just wrote.  As a child I would listen to and absorb stories especially personal stories about life experiences and from there I would weave more fascinating stories and plot lines. It is something that I have harnessed as an adult. I think one thing that helped me with developing my writing skills, is my passion for reading. I credit myself with being able to read anything that is not too boring, technical or scientific and exposing myself to more stories, I was able to further develop my writing skills.

What do you miss about your childhood home in Lagos, Nigeria?

The food

What do you like about living in the United States?

The opportunity to be able to explore a rich cultural diversity in the Washington DC area where I live, there is a melting pot of cultures represented in this area and it is always delightful to encounter them.

Do you think short stories are having a literary revival? What do you like about writing short fiction?

I think short stories have always been there and always will be. It still remains a powerful way to tell a story and lots of stories have been successfully told using this genre. Some of the more interesting ones that deal with community issues are Mohammed Naseehu Ali’s “The Prophet of Zongo Street” and R.K. Narayan’s “Malgudi Days.”

Are you working on any new writing projects since the publication of Terra Cotta Beauty?

Yes,  I am working on a full-length novel which is a coming of age piece which will be released in 2016.

Is there anything else you would like to say to Book Pound readers?

Read Terra Cotta Beauty, you will learn more about Lagos and its people and it will renew your faith in the strength of the human spirit.

Find Jola Naibi at her website or on Twitter.


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