This Reading Life: Chiké Frankie Edozien

5 February 2020

Chiké Frankie Edozien is a Nigerian-American writer and professor of journalism at New York University. His 2017 memoir Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man won the Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Memoir/Biography category at the 30th Lambda Literary Awards in 2018. Chiké will be in conversation with Victor Rodger on Thursday 27 February at Renouf Foyer, Michael Fowler Centre.

The first books to capture my imagination were …
A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson and then Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman.

The books that saw me through my childhood were…. The Tintin series

My favourite book of 2019 is… Its a tie between 'Drapetomania: or the Narrative of Cyrus Tyler & Abednego Tyler, Lovers, and Manchester Happened by Jennifer Nansubug.

The fictional character I’d most like to be is … 'Kintu' the great a Makumbi Baganda king with scores of lovers from all genders. A portrayal delivered with sublime elegance by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi.

The author I’m most likely to binge-read is … Zukiswa Wanner.

The book I’m recommending to a friend is … Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle.

My favourite film adaptation of a book is … The Devil Wears Prada.

The last literary event I attended was …. Abantu Book Festival in Soweto, South Africa.

One dead author I’d like to have met is … Chinua Achebe.

A line or two of writing I just really love is …
"This story is about how I came to have an abnormal penis.... some boys get told that their willies were so small their mothers gave them girl names. Me, I was a real boy from the word go, with both my balls fully descended and the promising look that I would one day own a formidable loin. But Satan had other plans." [From A Man Who Is Not A Man by Thando Mgqolozana].

The books on my bed side table right now are …
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga;
A Man Who Is Not A Man by Thando Mgqolozana;
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste;
The 7 Necessary Sins For Women & Girls by Mona Eltahawy;
Silence is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia &
A Stranger's Pose by Emmanuel Iduma.