Migration and Belongings: Chika Unigwe reads a new story
From her home in Atlanta, Chika Unigwe will read ‘A Hand Across Her Back’, the wonderful story she wrote on commission for the Passa Porta Festival.
Chika Unigwe (b. 1974), an English-language Igbo writer of Nigerian descent, lived in Belgium for many years. She obtained her PhD at Leiden University, and made her debut in 2005 with the novel The Phoenix. She has received several literary awards, including the NLNG Prize for Literature for Fata Morgana.
Passa Porta asked Unigwe to write a new story specially for the festival, and to read it from her home. ‘A Hand Across Her Back’ is a story about a young Nigerian woman, Busonma, and her lover, Cheta. After years of living in the United States, the couple feel increasingly detached from their homeland. When Cheta dies from the effects of a coronavirus infection, Busonma is overcome by guilt and starts thinking more deeply about what it means to have Nigerian roots.