Afropolitan Author Talks Fractured Family Ties in 'Ghana Must Go'

Afropolitan Author Talks Fractured Family Ties in 'Ghana Must Go'

Taiye Selasi teases out intricate, cross-generational issues facing a modern-day African family in her debut novel

Patrice Peck

by Patrice Peck, May 02, 2013

Afropolitan Author Talks Fractured Family Ties in 'Ghana Must Go'

Taiye Selasi

one shared by the younger members of my family and, as it turns out, thousands of others around the world. It was this experience that I described as "Afropolitan," and it hasn't changed: this is how we grew up. I think the word itself has come unhooked from my little essay, floating into the choppier waters of label politics. And I've let it go. As a writer, one is obliged to release her words, to let them live in the world on their own. But my experience—and the perspective, the identity it has informed—remains my own. I'm still absolutely fascinated by the people who share this experience, be they Indian, South American, West African, West Indian: we're all living between cultures. I proudly call myself Afropolitan—and Yoruba, Ewe, American, British, Nigerian, Ghanaian, "Newyorkese"...all of it. It's all me.

EBONY:  Where in the world is Taiye Selasi right now and what can readers expect from her next?

TS: I've just returned to Rome after two months on the road—the States, the UK, Germany, Holland—and there's nothing like being home. I've been living in Rome for a year and a half, and absolutely love it. Next up: movies! I co-wrote a screenplay called WHITE GIRL with the genius Heather McGhee; it's a John Hughes-style story about a Black girl at an all-White prep school. Keke Palmer is attached to star, Kasi Lemmons to direct. It's going to be amazing. Any brown girl ever teased about "acting White" will get this film. And Keke's character sings at the end! And the child can sing.

Patrice Peck explores the complex intersection of culture, entertainment, race and gender as a multimedia journalist. Follow her musings at Twitter and Facebook, and visit her at for more of her work.


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