Conversation In Conversation: Olumide Popoola & Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Olumide Popoola, Sarah Ladipo Manyika © Naomi Woddis (left), James M. Manyika (right)

Tue, 07/28/2020

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Loving Black Lives.

Our Book Klub pick for the month of July is Olumide Popoola’s When We Speak of Nothing (2017/2018)--a novel on being young, Black, and Queer--and we are excited to welcome her for a conversation with San Francisco based writer Sarah Ladipo Manyika.
How do writers take an idea and turn it into a story that readers can "fall into"? Do characters have their own voice or does an author make them speak as they do? And how does writing a novel shape the author? Both novelists will read from their works and share what inspires their writing - past, present, and future.

Presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.
Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German writer and speaker who presents internationally. Her work includes this is not about sadness, a novella published in 2010 about the friendship between two complex and traumatized London-based women (one an older Jamaican, the other a young South African), that is explored through language as it relates to space, memory, and silence, Also by Mail, a family comedy-drama published in 2013 that follows the experiences of Nigerian German siblings Funke and Wale, who fly to Nigeria to bury their suddenly deceased father, the short story collection breach, which she co-authored with Annie Holmes in 2016, as well as critical essays and creative non-fiction, hybrid pieces and poetry. For her work, she has received numerous awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies, including the May Ayim Award in Poetry in 2004. Currently, she is the Writer in Residence at Greenwich University.
Popoola, who holds a PhD in Creative Writing and a BSc in Ayurvedic Medicine, has lectured in creative writing at various universities and regularly gives workshops and masterclasses. She is also the initiator and leader of the UK Arts Council funded mentoring scheme for emerging LGBTQ+ writers, THE FUTURE IS BACK.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, Zimbabwe, and England. Manyika is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, and founding books editor for Ozy Media. Her debut novel, In Dependence (2008), which traces a wistful love story between a Nigerian man and an English woman who both feel alienated from their own backgrounds, is an international bestseller. Her second novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun (2016), about an elderly Nigerian woman living in San Francisco and determined to match the city’s energy, has been translated into a number of languages. Her nonfiction includes personal essays and intimate profiles of people she meets, from Pastor Evan Mawarire to Toni Morrison and Michelle Obama.
Manyika serves as Board Director for the women’s writing residency, Hedgebrook. She has been a judge for the California Book Award and the Etisalat Prize and is currently a book juror for the 2020 Goldsmiths Prize. She studied at the universities of Birmingham and Bordeaux, and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.