This week brings a whole lot of goodness. However, one of the things that bring me the most joy is writing. Most importantly, writing to you. Being able to share my thoughts an ideas through an idle pen makes to you is a beautiful feeling. So this week, My Idle Pen is sharing with you the favorite writer of the week.
Helon definitely has a power beneath his words. He is so popular for putting his readers in a box filled with imaginations and also shielding them away from reality or any other thing within their environment. One of my favorite books by Helon Habila is his first ever novel; Waiting For An Angel. Waiting For An Angel was Helon’s first ever Novel which revealed the societal decadence in the 90s Nigeria. It also, as expected won the 2002 Commonwealth Prize.
Usually, there is a bit of the writer in their stories and this book did reveal some intricate details of his life. For instance, his life as a journalist. Born in 1967 in Kaltungo Gombe state, Helon’s first encounter with literature and choice of words was oral.
I grew up in a tenement house with about six other families, and in the nights our mothers would gather all the children, more than a dozen of us, and tell us stories… I can now see the influence of those stories in my fiction—I like compelling story lines that grip you, like the ancient mariner, and force you to listen.
More On Helon Habila
Helon Habila was also the judge for the Etisalat Prize for literature which saw a lot of growing writers achieve their dreams. In 2005, he became the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College in New York where he spent one year writing and teaching. He remained in the US as a professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He also co-edited the British Council anthology New Writing 14. Measuring Time which was his second novel was nominated for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, the IMPAC Prize. In 2008, it won the Virginia Library Foundation Prize for fiction.
The Chibok Girls By Helon Habila
In 2016, Helon Habila published The Chibok Girls; a book revealing the aftermath of the incidence. In his book, Helon tracks down the parents of the escapees, revealing the horrors hidden from the society. His work show what the Nigerian media and government have hidden from the public. One of the most beautiful things about this book is the fact that it will always be used in the future for references. Habila also reflects his journalism history in the works. Reminding the readers that true journalism lies in sharing detailed experiences of the victims without mincing it.
Based on personal experiences, Helon’s work shields the reader from happenings in their current society and creates an illusion of the reality he’s painting in the stories. This is definitely a great attribute of a great writer. In his works as well, you can create so many themes. His works have never been a bore which is another great attribute.