Quotes by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

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I come from a culture that has refined the art of the dirge to a sublime level. more...

It may not seem that way, but I am an absolute optimist, an unrepentant optimist. more...

The young readers I have interacted with carry old concerns repackaged in the skin of a new generation: puzzlement over continuous national moral failings, contradictions with the elders, nostalgia for a nonexistent Kenyan past. more...

Kenya is a mercurial character. I feel the country has a presence that can turn on its people in a very violent way. more...

Kenya is an immense land with a capacity for healing. more...

In my perfect imagination, with stern discipline I rise with the first bird, salute the dawn, have a healthy breakfast of fruits, wander over to my faux-oak desk, tap the On button on my Macbook Air, acknowledge the muse, and skip into the world where the story flows over the day and into the night. more...

The truth, and nothing but the truth, is that dawn begins with a wrestling match with my soul and a systematic rejection of all the other useful possibilities a day offers. I make obeisance to the story, its characters, and the muse with burnt offerings. more...

I do need to find inner tranquillity and get into a "zone" before I switch on the computer to work on a story. Only after this do I enter the story world, where I meet the characters and, together, we work through the day and night. more...

Novel-writing is a settling, lovely space. I call it self-indulgent - I feel mildly guilty about it. more...

One day, I was running to the river. Along the way there was the most exquisite butterfly, a tiny little thing, on the pavement. I kind of jumped over it. And then two days later I woke up in the middle of the night with a character running, jumping over butterflies on the streets of Nairobi. After that, I followed the story. The story wrote itself. more...

I can edit into infinity. It's such a joy. I'd probably edit until the last word. Until there's only one word left. more...

I get turned on by the idea of an essence - finding the essence of the thing. more...

I think every morning we wake up offers a new beginning, a new way of stepping into the day. I think every conversation could be a new chance. more...

For Kenya: we have a chance to start again each time we meet one another. The ghosts do not need to define the future. more...

Even if we want to eradicate our ghosts, our dead, our murdered, even if you erase a name and the record of the existence of a person, somebody remembers. more...

I don't think Kenya is the only country that tries to induce amnesia - it seems to be a global phenomenon. But offenses do not die. They do not disappear. more...

Matters of the subconscious affect reality in ways we don't quite realize. more...

I am indebted to anyone who has ever written anything. I am indebted to the unknown carver of pictograms on a gallery of stone panels, which I encountered and stood in silence before on top of a distant odd-shaped hill in northern Kenya. For whatever reason the muses have most unexpectedly invited me to join this immense procession. I am humbled and delighted. more...

Every Kenyan writer has offered me something to hold onto, something to believe in. more...

Recording stories is a way of honoring the faculty of memory, even if it's recorded, outsourcing memory to technology. more...

Even though we've written epic poems and made incredible films about love, I still don't think anyone can understand what it is, or why it means everything. more...

Dying away from home, away from the soil of your birth - and to do so unseen and unmourned - is a profound horror. more...

Burma evoked the lost Kenyan soldiers who served in the war. You never hear about them. There were a significant number of casualties, men who never came back home. But they're never commemorated. more...

Even if you're in charge of the grand story there's still memory. The other stories do not go away. more...

I like talking to myself and making patterns out of the letters of the alphabet on blank surfaces. more...


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