Taiye Selasi: Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local

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Taiye Selasi (born 2 November 1979) is a writer and photographer of Nigerian and Ghanaian origin

Selasi graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in American Studies from Yale, and earned her MPhil in International Relations from Nuffield College, Oxford


A writer and photographer of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent, born in London and raised in Boston, now living in Rome and Berlin, who has studied Latin and music, Taiye Selasi is herself a study in the modern meaning of identity.

In her writings, Taiye Selasi explores our relationship to our multiple identities.

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When someone asks you where you’re from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? Writer Taiye Selasi speaks on behalf of “multi-local” people, who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. “How can I come from a country?” she asks. “How can a human being come from a concept?”


In 2005 she published the much-discussed (and controversial) essay “Bye-Bye, Babar (Or: What Is an Afropolitan?),” offering an alternative vision of African identity for a transnational generation. Prompted by writer Toni Morrison, the following year she published the short story “The Sex Lives of African Girls” in the literary magazine Granta.

Her first novel Ghana Must Go, published in 2013, is a tale of family drama and reconciliation, following six characters and spanning generations, continents, genders and classes.

Taiye Selasi was born in London, England, and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, the elder of twin daughters in a family of physicians. Her given name means first twin in her mother’s native Yoruba.=
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Selasi’s twin sister, Dr. Yetsa Kehinde Tuakli, is a physiatrist in the US, and an alumna of the African Paralympics, in which she competed in the long jump for Ghana’s national team. Selasi’s mother, Dr. Juliette Tuakli, is a paediatrician in Ghana. Renowned for her advocacy of children’s rights, she sits on the board of United Way. Selasi’s father, Dr. Lade Wosornu, is a surgeon in Saudi Arabia. Considered one of Ghana’s foremost public intellectuals, he has published numerous volumes of poetry.

Selasi’s parents broke up when she was an infant. She met her biological father at the age of 12.

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I definitely Identify with what she is saying.

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