Today we talk about The replica of my mother’s relic, a book by Adaeze Christlene Nwankwo, published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Adaeze Christlene Nwankwo, to get to know her better, where she found the inspiration to write her book The replica of my mother’s relic, as well as the name of the first book she read and what it has taught her.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this book of poetry?
This poetry collection was born out of personal experience as well as observing my social community. It’s a body of work that came from place of personal loss, deep grief and stolen dreams or forgotten or more like semi-lost memories that surface in unexpected moments. Owing to the fact that I wanted to help other people understand their own experiences too, especially young people. In trying to find meaning to my own story. I needed to be able to make sense of things happening to me from infancy and the history of how it all began so I can walk others through acknowledging their pains too. When I started documenting the event which shaped me, I wanted to be able to learn from them, I had a habit of burying occurrences that I find traumatic and oftentimes forget them until they suddenly reappear at times when I least expect, causing my brain to trigger anxiety. Writing this made healing easier and it has been a powerful tool on my journey to growth and self-discovery.
- What do you want to communicate to readers with this work?
The central idea that I would love for readers to glean from this poetry story is triumph. I want people to find hope in their stories, to see themselves as part of the stars journeying through the galaxy and the beauty of the world is not complete without them in it. I need folks to see their dreams through their pains, acknowledge the reality of how it is defining them and allow themselves a chance to rework their wins however they deem fit. People like my past self are afraid to face their fears. We are scared of looking our reality in the eyes, so they bury it in nothingness, they worry about being seen, they work extra hard to disappear because they don’t want others to discover the horrors they had lived with or are still dealing with. My work is meant to be a companion for those seeking an opportunity to find their truth, a guide for those too terrified to accept their wars and a help for neutral people to see others and be more compassionate in relating with them.
- What was the first book you read and what did it teach you?
Hmmm, that’s quite an onerous task to recall, given that I was surrounded by lots of books while growing up. My dad had a mini library that my curious little mind finds really fascinating. I remember reading newspapers and wondering why so much chaos was happening around my country then, and I felt grateful to be protected from it all. My earliest memories of literary influence will be a Children’s book “Chike and the River” by Chinua Achebe, I was fascinated by the adventure of young Chike, it opened my eyes to the exploits of ferries, the river, and the daring nature of human, the bold stance of Chike. I remember, making a promise to myself to risk a trip to the east like Chike, I saw him as brave and I wanted to call myself a valiant girl too. But I never did, there were more adventure to try out because reading more novels made my imagination pop. I felt like I was my own hero in my small world.
- How would you define your writing style?
I like to write in a simple prosaic mode. I enjoy using words that are straight to understand. Not a lot of readers have the patience to comprehend complex vocabulary or structure, and quite frankly the world we are living in right now is hell bent in keeping humans too busy and moving like a flash. So, I employ direct communication with my audience. I want them to keep up with happenings around their community while being able to appreciate poetry literature in a more relaxed form that doesn’t task their mind too much. My story can appeal to their emotions, connect with their experience, yet, be warm enough for their attention. I enjoy using a combination of my local dialect and English language in themes that are Igbo-centric. I want for others to experience my culture through my poetry works. That way, we all can see the inter-connectives of the world. There are words in my language that one can’t find the English equivalent. Even when you do find something close to it, the core meaning gets lost in translation. So easy words are my go-to, with my language.
- Are you working on a new book of the same genre?
Yes, I am currently writing another poetry collection. I feel my mind stringing words together to share, to learn, to start a conversation on social issues, build a community of poetry lovers who desire a just and better world. So, I write for the world’s collective healing, I share for the good of myself and young people out there who are afraid to face the world. The collection I am currently putting together has some collaboration with fine writers who are championing for social change, and it is grounded more in possibilities and the joy of extending love to one another. There’s really so much work to be done in story telling through poetry that we are yet to scratch the surface. My current work is exploring a trans-continental idea sharing to reach a larger audience and motivate us all to a path of healing. I believe it is possible, I have undergone this myself, though a walk-in progress, a welcome progress nonetheless.
Europe Books thanks the author, Adaeze Christlene Nwankwo, once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book The replica of my mother’s relic. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my readers, I wish this book allows you to get in touch with your reality, to process it, to review your fears and be able to face them; to finally find your truth which can help yourself and the others around you to live a better life, everyday!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!