Uwem Akpan Quotes

I’m happy if my book makes you want to kiss your family… if we can reconcile with each other no matter where we are on the globe.

Maybe if we can find time to hug and cherish our families and the people around us, child suicide or college suicide wouldn’t be rampant.

I’d say my religious life has shaped my worldview; my writing, I’d say too, is an extension of the pulpit…it reaches folks who don’t care for organized religion in a different way.

I think fiction allows us to sit for a while with people we would rather not meet.

After the phone call from The New Yorker, I walked more than a mile to church to thank God. But then I told God I would talk to Him another time and darted home.

I have been very afraid of writing about other cultures and countries. I’ve been worried about getting the research wrong. I ask a lot of questions. I try to visit the area. If I’m not able to do that, I search out people from that country who live elsewhere and ask questions.

For me, as I’ve said many times, the story is not research. The story is how the characters relate with each other and with the environment… I try to apply my imagination to what could have happened and how a little child could have viewed and processed the event.

I believe artists should be able to step into other people’s situations, contexts and cultures and work from there. If artists don’t have that freedom, then, as someone has said, are we all writing our autobiographies?

I always felt my writing could benefit from the attention of established writers. I knew my work could grow and be better.

I believe that Jesus was both priest and poet. Imagine those powerful parables! My experience as a priest tells me it’s not possible to reach the hearts of the congregants without a bit of poetry and storytelling.

I don’t believe in the art-for-art’s-sake philosophy. With the raw material before me and the gifts within me, I did my best to celebrate the voices and intelligence and sweetness and dreams of the children in spite of their chaotic, outer worlds.

Though people are more important than money, I’m not convinced these large sums of money paid out to victims is the best. Listening to the some of the victims, I think we could have avoided a lot of this if the Church had humbly apologized to them, but we tried to bully some of them. I pray the victims are healed.