'Happiness, Like Water' Based On Nigerian-American Writer's Reality
Nigerian-American author Chinelo Okparanta was shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing. But she says that initially, writing short stories wasn’t a style she thought she’d be good at. “When I started, I thought I was a novelist, and I had written some short stories and I thought that they failed at being whatever short stories should be,” Okparanta tells Tell Me More’s guest host Celeste Headlee. “I’m not sure how it ended up that I somehow learned to write a short story.” She kept writing though, and the stories became Happiness, Like Water. Her debut collection which was published on the 13th August. It draws on a number of her own personal influences. Born in Nigeria, Okparanta moved to the US when she was ten years old. Her parents raised her as a Jehovah’s Witness. It’s a faith that was at odds with her sexuality, and one that she no longer practices.
Read More about her story and listen to her Audio interview with NPR here.