At just 24, Uzodinma Iweala is the youngest of Granta’s latest Best Young Novelists selection. Not one for wasting his time, he’s already working on a second book at the same time as training to be a doctor.
Michelle Pauli in The Guardian:
Iweala explains, “My dad said to me: “You’ve done a great job, but don’t get too high on being the youngest this or the youngest that because someone somewhere will do great things at a younger age than you. It’s not about the age. It’s about the work you produce.”
Wise words but probably unnecessary – Iweala junior appears to have an exceptionally wise head on his young shoulders. And there’s also no doubting his talent. At 24, he is the youngest of all the young writers on Granta’s list and the recognition comes on the back of his John Llewellyn Rhys prize win with his first novel, Beasts of No Nation, last year.
Iweala, still a student, remains admirably unfazed by the attention he is garnering. “For me, I am really interested in how I can stretch myself to produce things. If in the process others take note and recognise that, then wonderful. I remain very grateful for the recognition that the book and my writing has gotten,” he says. “But I think it would be very detrimental to my own performance as a young and growing writer if I started writing to gain awards and accolades.”