Chris Abani Quotes

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Image, The truth is, everything we know about America, everything Americans come to

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The truth is, everything we know about America, everything Americans come to know about being American, isn't from the news. I live there. We don't go home at the end of the day and think, "Well, I really know who I am now because the Wall Street Journal says that the Stock Exchange closed at this many points." What we know about how to be who we are comes from stories. It comes from the novels, the movies, the fashion magazines. It comes from popular culture.

Chris Abani

Image, Since I hold no judgments against my characters, no matter how heinous

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Since I hold no judgments against my characters, no matter how heinous they might seem, I present them as real people with their own moral centers. We might feel those moral centers are mis-calibrated, but they are there and are the rudders that propel them. This makes reading my work a visceral roller coaster, 'cause the reader must embark on the journey of the protagonist equipped only with his or her own moral center.

Chris Abani

Image, I have not spoken in three years: not since I left boot

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I have not spoken in three years: not since I left boot camp. It has been three years of a senseless war, and though the reasons for it are clear, and though we will continue to fight until we are ordered to stop--and probably for a while after that--none of us can remember the hate that led us here. We are simply fighting to survive the war. It is a strange place to be at fifteen, bereft of hope and very nearly of your humanity. But that is where I am nonetheless.

Chris Abani

Image, The Internet is really our meeting place. We have this amazing listserv.

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The Internet is really our meeting place. We have this amazing listserv. Every time I log onto it I feel a sense of pride, because if you log on and say, "Oh I was just in San Diego and I was in a park and I saw a lion," the flurry of replies on average is just like--wow! All these existential questions about what it means to be an African, and never having seen a lion at home, but having seen a lion here. Everything you say turns into this real philosophical debate--it's incredible in so many ways. And it's... Read more »

Chris Abani