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Chigozie Obioma’s Booker shortlisted novel An Orchestra of Minorities is an epic tale driven by love and marred by hostility and racism. Nigerian chicken farmer, Chinonso, embarks on a Homerian journey to attain the respect of the family of the woman he wishes to marry. Entirely narrated by Chinonso’s Chi (or guardian spirit), Chigozie’s masterful storytelling ask us to survey and relate to an individual’s spiritual life against the pitiful hostility of human prejudice. He speaks with writer Brannavan Gnanalingam.

Chigozie Obioma, photo by Jason Keith.jpg

Chigozie Obioma



Chigozie Obioma is a Nigerian writer and assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2015, he was named one of "100 Global Thinkers" by Foreign Policy magazine. He is the first author in Booker Prize history to be nominated for their first and second book, with The Fishermen shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and An Orchestra of Minorities shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.


Brannavan Gnanalingam

Aotearoa/New Zealand


Brannavan Gnanalingam is the author of five novels, most recently Sodden Downstream, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand book awards.

Brannavan was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Lower Hutt. He lives with his young family in Wellington and works as a lawyer.

Partnered by


Renouf Foyer, Michael Fowler Centre

  • Wheelchair Access Symbol.png Wheelchair accessible
Duration: 1hr

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