Sumaila Umaisha Interviews Abubakar Idris Ibrahim, author of ‘The Whispering Tree’

Sumaila Umaisha, who blogs at, has an interview with Abubakar Idris Ibrahim

What does it take to write magical realism? 

“A dramatic sense of imagination, I think, and the ability to be convincing, even about the most absurd of things. If you write about two headed spirits, as Okri does, you should be able to make the readers actually see them. One of the greatest proponents of magical realism, and one of my favourite writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian Nobel Laureate, said he learnt from his grandmother who told stories of the esoteric with absolute belief that the listener had no choice but to believe them as real. So instead of saying there are elephants flying, say there are four hundred elephants flying. That detail makes it more convincing and believable. I don’t think I have ventured that far yet, but essentially, to write magical realism, you must first convince yourself, you must actually see what you are writing in your imagination, as wild and as fantastic as it may seem, and find the right tone to put it across such that your readers find it convincing. And this goes without saying that you must have a good handling of craft and language. That is very important.” – Abubakar Idris Ibrahim

Read the full interview HERE


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