Interesting stuff keeps coming out of the Nigerian literary scene, the most recent of which is the publication of Chibundu Onuzu’s Spider King’s Daughter by prestigious British publishing house, Faber and Faber. Spider King’s Daughter is a dark love story set in Nigeria’s megalopolis, Lagos. From the moment I started reading the novel, I knew I wanted to have a chat with Chibundu. As with every really cool book, you leave it with more questions than when you began reading it. So here we are. I live in a little glorified village here in the US called Durham. She lives all the way in the sexy city of London. So we decided that email was as good as any face-to-face meeting. No shocking steamy revelations. sad face But Chibundu makes quite a few surprising comments on writing, like how nollywood film techniques gave her ideas on how to structure her novel. And she has a sense of humor to last her for days, so look out for her reason why Lagos is a bonafide city of romance. Anyway, enjoy her fun and, sometimes, cheeky responses to my silly questions. Congrats to Chibundu for her lovely novel.
Why did you choose to set your first novel in Lagos?
I grew up there so I know the city quite well and I suppose with your first novel, you want to be writing about home territory. There are so many things you have to grapple with as an inexperienced writer and adding an unfamiliar setting is just an extra difficulty. It’s hard enough trying to evoke a place you know.
I’d never have thought of Lagos as a city of love, but you convinced me. What made you think of a Lagos romance?
Have you ever been to Tantalizers or Mr Biggs? Lagos is the Nigerian capital of romance. Every guy is a toaster and every girl is a babe in Eko.