All posts filed under: Interviews

Chibundu Onuzo talks love in The Spider King’s Daughter

“She doesn’t treat anyone like an equal. That’s the way she’s been brought up. She’s like her father; but she still manages to have moments of kindness.” Chibundu Onuzo is defending the protagonist in her debut novel, The Spider King’s Daughter. She sits opposite me in an airy delicatessen in London Bridge, a fork dancing in her hand, her youthful face animated. She’s supposed to be eating a plate of mushroom pasta, but after I suggest her story of friendship across Nigeria’s economic lines cannot really be a friendship when the rich man’s daughter, Abike, insists on referring to the book’s other central character as The Hawker, denying him an identity beyond his poverty, Chibundu launches an earnest defence. “She was raised in a very unhappy home. I applaud Abike for all her humanity,” she insists. Chibundu is softly spoken and self-effacing. There can’t be many 21-year-old university students who find themselves juggling essay deadlines with promotion for a published novel, and there are certainly no others who can claim to be the youngest female …