Emmanuel is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and has received recognition in each genre. Emmanuel is the co-founder of Iroko Publishing, which publishes Saraba. In 2011, Emmanuel participated in the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Initiative, a road trip aimed at creating photographic and written material that addresses Africa from a more individualistic viewpoint. Farad is his first novel.
He has this to say about his favourite five (plus one) books: This is really difficult for me. So I decided to find a pattern - the best five books I've read (or reread) since 2012 began.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: Ondaatje is a favourite of many writers, and I think it's his language, the disarming way he uses words; he makes you feel like there's something you should uncover, some meaning that you'll keep searching for. The English Patient is a book that brought me to a new relationship with language.
Girl in The Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vremeer: I think it's this book's style that drew me in. I have been keenly interested in ways in which the novel can be rendered formless and yet not losing it's linearity. So in this book by Vremeer you find that a narrative is formed around the ownership of a painting across several generations. No character's story is told in more than one chapter. Very sexy, as they say.
Dreaming In Public: Building The Occupy Movement (various) - I received my copy of this book less than a month ago, yet it has become dog-eared. Anyways, this book brought me closer to the meaning of the global Occupy Movement. My favourite essay in the anthology is by a blogger I admire, Keguro Macharia. It's amazing how he finds an intersection between Kiberia and Washington DC.
Fine Boys by Eghosa Imasuen: This book is a favourite because I didn't have the kind of adolescence described in the book. Then of course, Eghosa's obsession with New Englishes is endearing as well.
My Journey As A Witness by Shahidul Alam: Earlier this year my friend and boss, Emeka Okereke, returned from Amsterdam with this book, signed by Dr Alam himself. It is a collage of photographs and text by Alam taken since the '70s. Reading through, and viewing the photos, I found myself captured by the sharpness of his eyes - the fact that sometimes the only thing that should be of interest to an artist is to ensure that he speaks to, about, for, his immediate environment. Shahidul Alam is a 'majority world' photographer from Bangladesh.
Night Train To Lisbon by Pascal Mercier: I love this book because it is infinitely quotable. I will not say more.