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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Nadifa Mohamed in conversation

NadifaOn 21 June 2013, the Nairobi Forum and the Kwani Trust hosted Nadifa Mohamed, the Somali-British author, in conversation with Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Editor of Granta, which listed Nadifa among the best young British novelists. Born in Hargeisa and raised in South London, Nadifa’s first novel, Black Mamba Boy (2010), was inspired by the life of her father, who was forced to leave Somalia and set out on an odyssey that took him to the UK. She describes herself in the book as her father’s griot, a combination of personal historian, storyteller and praise singer. That novel won the Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for numerous other prizes. Her new novel, The Orchard of Lost Souls, which will be published in August 2013, describes the beginning of the Somali civil war and the fall of the Somali state through the lives of three women. Nadifa’s conversation was interspersed with readings from both of her novels.

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