Foreign Policy

Does the world really need nation-states?

To CHIGOZIE OBIOMA, there is more to writing fiction than crafting engaging characters and plots. Writers, he says, have an opportunity to assess and critique the world in which they live. The 2015 Global Thinker’s debut novel, The Fishermen, is a domestic drama about sibling rivalry, but it’s also an allegory for Nigeria’s destructive colonial legacy. TAIYE SELASI, though, finds value in literary stories that singularly explore interior landscapes, free of societal or political metaphor. To that end, her acclaimed 2013 novel, Ghana Must Go, delves into an immigrant family dealing with the death of its patriarch. Both authors are interested in the reasons intimate relationships can cease to function and in the complex forces that shape identity—well beyond the place where someone is born. Obioma and Selasi

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