I read recently that the problem with stereotypes isn't that they are inaccurate, but that they're incomplete. And this captures perfectly what I think about contemporary African literature. The problem isn't that it's inaccurate, it's that it's incomplete.
The big ideas always come in flashes. I don't really craft stories that much. I genuinely don't know where these people come from, and I've often wondered if writing is just a socially acceptable form of madness.
Being a twin, and being my sister's twin, is such a defining part of my life that I wouldn't know how to be who I am, including a writer, without that being somehow at the centre.
When I'm working, I'm so narrowly focused on sound, language, rhythm, flow, that I rarely feel the emotion of the text. It's only after - long after - I've finished a piece that I can experience in any way its emotional charge.
That's what makes writer's block so painful. You think the well has run dry, maybe somewhere in the heavens the tap has been turned off. That's beyond frightening.
The summer I finished my first novel 'Ghana Must Go,' I drove across west Africa: from Accra to Lome to Cotonou to the deliciously named Ouagadougou.
I'm not sure where I'm from! I was born in London. My father's from Ghana but lives in Saudi Arabia. My mother's Nigerian but lives in Ghana. I grew up in Boston.
So often, literature about African people is conflated with literature about African politics, as if the state were somehow of greater import or interest than the individual.
I live in Rome and five minutes from my flat is a church where you can walk in and see this beautiful Caravaggio. Just the way this man uses dark paint: dark to create dark to create dark, the layering of the darkness in his work. I just race home: I want to create!
As a young woman, I had been seeking experience, knowledge, truth, the stuff writers need in their work, but when the artist actually kicked in, I came to understand that in this romantic relationship I was not free to be myself, or to find myself, in order to begin the true work I needed to do.