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Philip Hensher

Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter, Philip Hensher was among Granta 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. The author of six novels, a collection of short stories and an opera libretto, he has won numerous prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel, 'The Northern Clemency', was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. A regular presence in the British media, alongside his Wednesday column for The Independent, he writes for The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.

Book review: Every Day Is For The Thief by Teju Cole

Nigeria is not far from a basket case, and few witnesses come from within it. For reasons Teju Cole explores in this tantalising near-novel, Nigerians seem to have to leave the country and establish themselves outside its phantasmagoria of moral despair before their voices can gain any kind of authority. Cole’s narrator visits a bookshop in Lagos, and finds no international fiction, no Nigeria-dwelling Nigerian writer; only those writers of Nigerian origin who have long since left the country to live in America, such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and a lot of bloody Bibles. There is a clear disadvantage in relying on returning expatriates to give a version of a country. On the other hand, in the case of Nigeria, unlike many other literary cultures in the developing world, the returning expatriate could be the only voice available.

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