A Scandinavian travelogue (2008)

In 2008, I spent 3 months as a Guest Writer at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden. I often made the 40-minute train journey to Stockholm, sometimes for no special reason. And I visited Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. When news of the bomb blast and the shootings broke, Oslo returned to my mind. I remember the elderly man who worked in the Tourists’ Office, and sold me the ticket for my day tour. He told me:

“Life is quiet. If I want some noise, London’s just an hour and a half by plane, New York’s six hours. I go and return to my quiet life. I like it that way.”

Anders Behring Breivik shattered that quiet. One imagines things will never be the same again. My heart goes out to Oslo, and Norway. And many the souls of the dead rest in peace.

Here’s a piece I wrote for The Lagos Review, the literary section of NEXT on Sunday, after my second visit to Oslo, for the Oslo House of Literature’s African Festival (2009): A week in the heart of coldness

And the travelogue from my 2008 Scandinavian tour (published in the 1st Quarter 2009 issue of South African literary magazine, WORDSETC), is here: A SENSE OF WONDER (pdf)



New publications – May/June 2009…

Wordsetc Q1 Issue, 2009 – read an excerpt from my travel essay here (.doc download)


My story, RIVER FALLING, in New Writing from Africa 2009 – anthology of stories shortlisted for the inaugural PEN/Studzinski Literary Prize. Published by Johnson and King James, SA. See all the shortlisted writers here


My review/essay on Blonde Roots (the latest novel by British writer Bernardine Evaristo), commissioned by the Harvard Africa Policy Journal of the (published by the John F. Kennedy School of Government) appears in Volume 5 of the journal (Volume theme: AFRICA RISING). You may read the Editor’s Remarks online here