The best writing is not about the writer, the best writing is absolutely not about the writer, it’s about us, it’s about the reader.
I learned that life will go through changes – up and down and up again. It’s what life does.
I’m conscious of a series of circles working its way through my life. And at this particular moment I have come round to the beginning of my writing cycle. It begins with poetry. There’s hardly a day that goes past on which I don’t write poetry.
At the heart of ‘The Famished Road’ is a philosophical conundrum – for me, an essential one: what is reality? Everybody’s reality is subjective; it’s conditioned by upbringing, ideas, temperament, religion, what’s happened to you.
The higher the artist, the fewer the gestures. The fewer the tools, the greater the imagination. The greater the will, the greater the secret failure.
Reading is an act of civilization; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.
I went to London because, for me, it was the home of literature. I went there because of Dickens and Shakespeare.
It is not important for me as a writer that you leave a piece of writing of mine with either an agreement or even a resonance with what I have said. What is important is that you leave with the resonance of what you have felt and what you thought in reaction to that.
One of the greatest gifts my father gave me – unintentionally – was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity. We had a bit of a rollercoaster life with some really challenging financial periods. He was always unshaken, completely tranquil, the same ebullient, laughing, jovial man.
You cannot come to a Nigerian restaurant without having pepper soup.