For our International Writers series, join Nadifa Mohamed, author of The Fortune Men, and Uwem Akpan, author of New York, My Village, as they discuss their new novels with Anderson Tepper.
What are the consequences of insularity and tribalism, whether in a 1950s seaside community in Wales or contemporary New York City? And how is literature able to explore these issues of outsiderness—with gravity, insight, even satire—in both the past and present? Nadifa Mohamed’s Booker-shortlisted novel, The Fortune Men, is grounded in the real-life story of a Somali sailor executed for a crime he didn’t commit in Cardiff, Wales in 1952. While Uwem Akpan’s New York, My Village, follows a visiting Nigerian scholar of the Biafran War as he navigates the liberal pretensions of the New York publishing world and the city itself.
Nadifa Mohamed is the author of Black Mamba Boy and The Orchard of Lost Souls. She has received both The Betty Trask Award and the Somerset Maugham Award, and in 2013 was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.
Uwem Akpan’s debut book of stories, Say You’re One of Them, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the PEN Open Book Award, and was picked by the Oprah Winfrey Book Club. He teaches creative writing at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Anderson Tepper is co-chair of the International Committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival and has written for The New York Times Book Review, Vanity Fair, World Literature Today, and Words without Borders, among other publications.
Greenlight Bookstore is our bookseller for this event. You can purchase/preorder the book here.
Nadifa Mohamed photo credit Sean and Seng