Virgin of Flames

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Authorlink Audio Interview

With Chris Abani

author of Graceland and the new

The Virgin of Flames

Audio Length: 13:09 min.

File size= 12.05 MB

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An Authorlink Exclusive AUDIO Interview with Chris Abani

Author of The Virgin of Flames

March 2007

Chris Abani, poet and author of the award-winning Graceland, has now created a searing new novel about the tarnished City of Angels. Revealing a Los Angeles we have never seen before–both magical and crumbling–Chris has already garnered advance praise for this powerful and scary work, released in February 2007 by Penguin.

The Virgin of Flames is the story of Black, a mural artist in east L.A. who lives in a ramshackle apartment above "The Ugly Store," a tattoo parlor and coffee shop. Through Black's eyes, Chris leads us on a journey of self-discovery and raises essential questions about poverty, religion and ethnicity in America today.

An associate professor at the University of California, Riverside, Chris is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a number of other honors.

In this AUDIO interview, he talks about his long struggle as an author both in his native Nigeria and in the USA, and gives us a haunting perspective of life.

—Doris Booth