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‘Are the people in this story I’m telling recognizably human?’ Saratu Abiola’s First Draft

Each time author of ‘A Woman among Women’, Saratu Abiola, writes, her truth is at stake. Hence, she writes, ‘to learn what I know and what I don’t, organizing my thoughts in as intellectually honest a way that I can so that I come away from it with more clarity than when I started.’ Our questions are italicized.  What books or kinds of books did you read growing up? I was a voracious reader as a child, especially of fiction, and read everything from Nancy Drew and Ola Rotimi’s plays to D. H. Lawrence and John Donne. I am the last of four kids, so there were a great many books in the house belonging to my siblings and my mother. Thankfully, I had a lot of stories to choose from. My main requirement was that the stories were engaging and rang true and human. I would say that I’ve held on to that over the years. What makes a story ‘human’? Human stories, for me, are those that dare to be specific in their context but universal in their themes. Wh

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