22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Confessions and dog ears – checked in with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Portrait Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi [© privat]

We introduce the authors of the 22nd ilb – with questions about writing, reading and unfinished reading. Here Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi reveals which book she would never finish reading under any circumstances.

Confession time: Which major classic have you started… but not finished?
»Nostromo« by Joseph Conrad.

The age-old question: hardback or paperback? And why?
Hardback by all means. I keep my books for life.

If an unpublished book was to be discovered by an author, which author would you want that to be?
That will be Binyavanga Wainaina. He had a beautiful brain.

The essential question: bookmarks or dog ears?
Dog ears – I am ashamed but bookmarkers don’t show you the specific page and paragraph you stopped at.

Which book is on your nightstand just now?
»The Furrows« by Namwali Serpell.

Which is your favorite book store in the whole world?
Favourite book store at the moment is »Shakespeare & Sons«. The bagels are to die for.

Who was your greatest discovery of the year so far? And why?
Fran Ross – I could not believe I had never heard of her. Her novel, »Oreo«, is a hoot!

If you were allowed to read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would have to be big and boring to last. »In Search of Lost Time« by Marcel Proust. 4.215 pages. Would never finish it even if I lived forever.

Where do you prefer to write, and why?
I prefer to write in libraries. I like to have people around me but not distracting.

Do you read your own books after they’ve been published?
Read my books? Absolutely not! By the time we finish editing I can’t bear to look at them.

We look forward to welcoming Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi to the international literature festival berlin on September 12. Her coming-of-age novel »The First Woman« [2020], which won the Jhalak Prize, is a feminist interpretation of Ugandan fairy tales and tells the story of a girl who grows up with her grandparents and, as a teenager, sorely misses the mother she never knew. Further information about the event can be found here.