Translator: Kate Bell
Matias was first to read, his translator Kate read a paragraph in English then Matias read the same paragraph in Spanish.
Chibundu then read a few pages from her book. She pointed out that in her books there are street halkers not hookers. They sell things from the side of the road. She doesn’t give the street halker a name and this is done to portray the poor faceless and homeless people on Nigeria’s streets. She told the audience that she didn’t start setting her fiction in Nigeria until she moved to England. Chibundu also pointed out that there is no welfare system in Nigeria and the family act as your social security network. The only reason she added a second narrative within the book was that her editors thought the book was moving along at to slow a pace with just a single narrative.
The conversation then turned to Matias, his book is set in the surviving area around Buenos Aires where there are a lot of social problems. The translation of the book was a real challenge as it was written in the language of the slums and criminals. This brought the translator major problems but they “did a wonderful job.” The main motive of the book was to escape for reality. Slum living is difficult to escape from, it is a “prison without bars.” If you were in that situation there really is no way out. The political background comes into focus throughout the novel. However Matias admits that he didn’t want to “write a social or political novel.” He admitted that he has “no plans for a sequel, an open ending is done so the reader can make up their own mind about what has happened. In reality there is not always a happy ending.”
Chibudu also has no plans to write a sequel novel. She admits that in “Nigeria they have Nollywood in which they make things in parts. So people in Nigeria are automatically assuming there will be a part 2.