Helon Habila was born in Kaltungo, Gombe State and educated at the University of Jos and University of East Anglia, England. He teaches Creative Writing at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in the USA where he lives with his family.
His first book Waiting for an Angel was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for New Writing (African Region 2003) and the Caine Prize (2001). In 2000 he won the MUSON Poetry Prize. He was the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College (2005), a William B Quarton fellow at the University of Iowa International Writing Programme and the John Farrar Fellow in Fiction at the 2003 Bread Loaf Writers. He co-edited the British Council's New Writing 14 with Lavinia Greenlaw. Measuring Time is his second novel.
Waiting for an Angel
Lomba, a young journalist, languishes in prison. His world has slowly crumbled. While the guards sleep, he begins to write. His story spirals backwards in time, telling the tale of the residents of Poverty Street, Lagos. We hear of resistance leader Joshua, in love with a former pupil turned prostitute, of Nancy, who finds solace covering walls with graffiti, and of Janice, forced to marry a General.
Mamo and LaMamo are twin brothers whose mother leaves the world as they enter it. They grow up in a small village in Northern Nigeria with a philandering and domineering father, Lamang. Dreaming of escape, they decide to run away to become soldiers. Mamo falls sick and is forced to stay behind. He hears from his brother via sketchy letters, as LaMamo joins a rebel group near the Chad border, trains in Libya, then fights alongside Charles Taylor's rebels in Liberia. Read more
Helon Habila online
Read an interview with Helon about his new book, Oil on Water (Metro, UK)