Daniel O. Fagunwa (foremost Yoruba novelist) to Chimamanda N. Adichie (contemporary novelist):

Let me leave you with a prophecy. After all, what sort of ghost would I be if I didn’t say something profound about the future? Here it goes:

‘The great African novel will come. But it will not come from writers who insist on writing stories that mirror an African reality that they have reduced to a set of social issues. It will not come from the Afropolitan generation who mistake affluence for worldliness. It will not come from realism because Africans do not like the cannibalism of being fed repacked versions of their own lives. It will come from a mind that understands what the people want, their deepest darkest fears, the archetypes that shape their dreams, the past they’ve placed beyond memory and that has for that reason become their future, their delirious present, their sadness and their fantasy. A mind that imagines a story that is an alchemy of all these, that creates out of these something strange and beautiful, something that Africans understand whether the rest of the world gets it or not, a story that Africans can hold up as a mystery that dissolves their differences. That mind is the African writer to come, the messiah that, like other messiahs, “will only arrive when we no longer need him.”’

Read the rest of the stimulating fictional metadrama here. (via Brittle Paper)

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