Helon Habila: Travelers
Photo Credit: Heike Steinweg
"Travelers" (W.W. Norton & Company) June, 18 2019
Real Fiction Radio Broadcast: June 26, 2019 (Re-Air July 3)
Helon Habila was born in Nigeria. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Jos. In 1999 he moved to Lagos, where he worked for the magazine Hints; he later moved on to Vanguard Newspaper as Literary Editor. “Love Poems”, one of the stories in this collection, received the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2001, which catapulted Habila onto the international stage.
His first novel, Waiting for an Angel, came out in 2002. It went on to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book (Africa Region). After winning the Caine Prize, Habila was invited to be the first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, where he stayed as a Chevening Scholar, and later as a PhD Candidate, from 2002-2007.
In 2005 Habila was invited by Chinua Achebe to become the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College, New York. He spent a year writing and teaching at Bard, and after his fellowship, Habila stayed on in America as a professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2012 he was invited to address the Library of Congress in the Conversations with African Poets and Writers Series.
Habila divides his time between his native Nigeria, and the USA where he lives with his wife and three children.
"Travelers" is a New & Noteworthy Book - New York Times (June 11, 2019)
Related Article: WSJ April 9, 2019 "The Real Berlin: A Traveler's Journey Beyond the Grim Spy