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Wamuwi Mbao talks to Yewande Omotoso about ‘An Unusual Grief’

Jonathan Ball Publishers’ podcast series Pagecast offers insider interviews with prominent authors and their latest books. This episode shares essayist and cultural critic Dr Wamuwi Mbao’s Franschhoek Literary Festival discussion with acclaimed novelist Yewande Omotoso

13 June 2022 - 12:19

About An Unusual Grief

How do you get to know your daughter when she is dead?

This is the question which takes a mother on a journey of self-discovery. When her daughter Yinka dies, Mojisola is finally forced to stop running away from the difficulties in their relationship, and also come to terms with Yinka the woman.

Mojisola’s grief leads her on a journey of self-discovery as she moves into her daughter’s flat and begins to unearth the life Yinka had built for herself there, away from her family.

Through stepping into Yinka’s shoes, Mojisola comes to a better understanding, not only of her estranged daughter, but also herself, as she learns to carve a place for herself in the world beyond the labels of wife and mother.

About the author 

Omotoso trained as an architect. Her debut novel Bom Boy was shortlisted for the 2012 Barry Ronge Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The Woman Next Door, was longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2018, it was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist in the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction. It has been translated into Catalan, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Korean. Omotoso lives in Johannesburg.


Listen to Omotoso and Mbao’s conversation here:

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