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This interview with Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe, conducted in early 2020, addresses the ethics and aesthetics of representing sex trafficking and transnational migration in her award-winning novel On Black Sisters’ Street (2009) and her latest short story collection Better Never Than Late, which appeared in the US in 2020. The author discusses the discourse on migration and trafficking in both works, bringing much-needed nuance to the conversation. She pays particular attention to issues of “agency” and “vulnerability”, as well as authenticity, stereotyping, the “white gaze”, the publishing industry, and the recent controversy on Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt (2020). Drawing from her own personal story, Unigwe also talks in depth about the stylistic choices she made in depicting the immigrant experience in the global north and the difficulty of representing rape and trauma in fiction.


This work was originally published in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, available at



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