Chika Unigwe


Chika Unigwe about Turnhout

Heart of Darkness

Duister hart

The day I met Conrad, he rescued a snake about to be eaten by a tiger. That was why his school uniform was dir...

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Chika Unigwe (1974) was born in Enugu, Nigeria. She now lives in Turnhout, Belgium, with her husband and four children. She was awarded het doctorate at the University of Leiden for her thesis In the shadow of Ala. Igbo women writing as an act of righting. Unigwe writes fiction and poetry, as well as educational books. She has won a host of prizes and has been offered various fellowships. Her short stories have been broadcast by the BBC World Service, Radio Nigeria, and other Commonwealth radio stations.

Her first novel, De Feniks (The Phoenix) (2005) is the first by a female Flemish immigrant writer. On Black Sisters’ Street, which first appeared in Dutch with the title Fata Morgana, is Unigwe’s second novel about immigrants, difficult choices and dislocation. This book was nominated for the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2012, and won the Nigeria Literature Prize that same year. Her latest novel, Nachtdanser (Night Dancer) (De Bezige Bij Antwerpen, 2011), plays out in Nigeria, and has also been very well received.

Unigwe has worked with deBuren twice before. 2010 saw her in conversation with the sadly missed Anil Ramdas during an evening about cultural parenthood. In 2001, she wrote a prose miniature to accompany a painting by Jeff Wall, and recited her text during a special night-time event in Bozar.


© Kanene Dieobi

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