Chris Abani

2003 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction

photo of Chris Abani

Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. He grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, and studied at Imo State University, Nigeria, Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Southern California. He has resided in the United States since 2001.

His fiction includes Graceland, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award; Becoming Abigail, a New York Times Editor’s Pick for 2006; and his most recent book, The Secret History of Las Vegas. His poetry collections include Sanctificum, Feed Me The Sun - Collected Long Poems, and Daphne's Lot.

Through his TED Talks, public speaking, and essays, Abani is known as an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and our shared political responsibility. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as Witness, Parkett, the New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb.

He is Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.

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