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Travelling and writing between England and Nigeria. An interview with Noo Saro-Wiwa

Roberto Zaugg et Noo Saro-Wiwa
p. 145-154

Résumé

Travelling is at the very heart of Noo Saro-Wiwa’s work as a writer and, in many ways, of her life. Born in Port Harcourt, she grew up in England and studied in London and New York. She has worked as a journalist (The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement and Prospect magazine…) and as a travel guide author (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide). In her award-winning first book, Looking for Transwonderland. Travels in Nigeria (2013), she offers fascinating insights into the diversity and contradictions of Africa’s most populous country, while narrating a very personal journey through her homeland and her family’s history. On April 6, 2017, she gave a talk at the University of Lausanne, discussing the persistence of biases affecting the representation of Africa in literature and journalism as well as the many challenges one faces when writing about this continent in the 21st century.
Interview by Roberto Zaugg

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en décembre 2019.

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RZ : In Looking for Transwonderland you offer a deliciously humorous description of summer holidays during your childhood. At that time, you were living in “ leafy Surrey, a bountiful paradise of Twix bars and TV cartoons and leylandii trees ”. From there, every summer you were sent to your “ unglamorous, godforsaken motherland ” – a small village in the Niger delta – to regenerate your spirit in close contact with your ancestral roots. When I read this, last summer, I had to laugh, because at that very moment I was myself spending some family holidays with my son… in the godforsaken village of my ancestors in northern Italy. I had to ask myself : Why is cultivating “ home ” and transmitting an emotional relationship to specific places so important to many people ? Is this a cultural obsession in our highly mobile and globally entangled societies ?

NSW : I think home is an emotional thing as well as a physical thing. The definition of “ home ” depends on whether you are talking from ...

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Référence papier

Roberto Zaugg et Noo Saro-Wiwa, « Travelling and writing between England and Nigeria. An interview with Noo Saro-Wiwa », Études de lettres, 3-4 | 2017, 145-154.

Référence électronique

Roberto Zaugg et Noo Saro-Wiwa, « Travelling and writing between England and Nigeria. An interview with Noo Saro-Wiwa », Études de lettres [En ligne], 3-4 | 2017, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2019, consulté le 22 février 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/edl/1046 ; DOI : 10.4000/edl.1046

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Auteurs

Roberto Zaugg

Université de Lausanne

Articles du même auteur

Noo Saro-Wiwa

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