African Diaspora: New Dialogues With Chris Abani

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African Diaspora: New Dialogues With Chris Abani
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WordSpace and the South Dallas Cultural Center team up to present African Diaspora: New Dialogues, a series that brings to Dallas a range of voices that have attained national and international acclaim. The 2016 season kicks off with the remarkable Nigerian-born author Chris Abani.

Abani was born in 1966 in Afikpo, Nigeria, to an Igbo father and British mother. He published his first novel when he was sixteen. That novel earned him a six-month jail sentence on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government. When a second novel earned him a year in prison, he immigrated in 1991 to the United Kingdom. Since 1999 he has lived and taught in the United States.

Since leaving Africa, Abani has published well-received and award-winning novels, poetry, and essays. Graceland, a story of a young boy growing up on the streets of Lagos, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in 2005. In 2008, Song for Night, his surreal short novel narrated by a West African boy soldier, received the PEN Open Book Award.

His most recent novel is the crime tale The Secret History of Las Vegas, described by the New York Times Book Review as “[A]n unsettling and complex entanglement of outsiders, freak shows, secret government experiments into mental illness, racism, sexual exploitation and fighting dwarfs….What lifts the novel is its energy, the audacity of Abani’s imagination, and most all the breadth of vision”

Wow. And he also plays the saxophone.

After the reading, Vicki Meek, director of the South Dallas Cultural Center, will lead a conversation with Mr. Abani.
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By: WordSpace

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