"One of the things I love about books is being able to define and condense certain portions of a character’s life into chapters. It’s intriguing, because you can’t do this with real life. You can’t just end a chapter, then skip the things you don’t want to live through, only to open it up to a chapter that better suits your mood. Life can’t be divided into chapters… only minutes. The events of your life are all crammed together one minute right after the other without any time lapses or blank pages or chapter breaks because no matter what happens life just keeps going and moving forward and words keep flowing and truths keep spewing whether you like it or not and life never lets you pause and just catch your fucking breath."
"We tend to think of the stories that happen in Africa as being so radically distinct from our narratives here in America, and I wanted to find ways of making those narratives rub up against one another."
Novelist Dinaw Mengestu tells NPR’s Lynn Neary about his new book, All Our Names.