Why I wrote Kingdom of the Paper Sun
The idea for Kingdom arrived quite out of the blue. It was August 2003 and I was working in my Berlin kitchen with the radio on. I was listening to some man on the BBC talking about colonialism and how very beneficial it had been for the colonized, listing the advantages of Western medicine, agriculture, education and so on. It was all good, no mention of the ugly side of the colonizing business, and I was annoyed. In my annoyance I shouted at the man on the radio, How would you like it if it happened to you? I’m sure he didn’t hear me but in that instant the idea of Africa colonizing Europe popped into my head. I saw a story.
A story that very much appealed to me. What would such a world look like? I knew immediately that it had to be Nigeria as the colonial power and Berlin as the colonial outpost. They say write what you know and I know something about these places having lived in both of them. I’ve long been interested in the history of European colonialism and its outcomes and here was a chance to address the subject as parody. And so much research to do. I love research. I was bitten.
Kingdom of the Paper Sun (ISBN 9783982177106) is currently available in paperback from Amazon.com as well as Amazon in Canada, Europe and Japan. An ebook (Kindle) will be issued soon. Further ebook formats are also in the works.
Like all good explorers, Kingdom’s hero, Katsin dan Zaki, made sketch maps of his travels. For the reader’s convenience these have been translated from the original Hausa. As can be seen, dan Zaki’s world, despite some differences, is remarkably similar to our own.