British Council presents ‘What’s Eating the North’ at LABAF 2015

The British Council will on Saturday 14 November facilitate a discussion session with the theme ‘What’s Eating the North: Politics, Culture and Relationships in Writing from Northern Nigeria’ at the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF).

Holding at Goethe Institut, Lagos at 1pm, it will feature Caine Prize short-listed authors Elnathan John and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim as they discuss their debut novels, set in Northern Nigeria and released to coincide with LABAF 2015.

Journalists, Kadaria Ahmed, will lead the authors in conversation, exploring love, friendship, loss and the effects of extremist politics and religion on everyday life in Northern Nigeria, as reflected in these two ground-breaking debut novels.

Ahmed will engage the authors critically about their writing in the context of the insurgency in the North, tackling some of the most provocative and timely issues of the day and debating the lack of literary voices from the North.

Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John (Cassava Republic Press) is a coming-of-age story, following the fortunes of Dantala, a homeless boy who ends up living in a Salafi mosque. Set deep in northwest Nigeria at a time of increasing fundamentalism and religious conflict, it is an intimate look at friendship, community, and first love within the confines of a society at once rigidly structured and quickly unravelling.

Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Parresia Publishers Ltd), explores the relationship between a 55 year-old widow and a street gang leader thirty years her junior, as they embark upon a salacious affair in a conservative society. Set in Abuja, against the backdrop of political violence in Jos, this story of love and longing unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.