I've been to a lot of author events over the years but I’ve never heard anyone read as beautifully as Taiye Selasi did on Thursday evening.
The event, at the super-cool Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, was packed with readers, all eager to meet the 34-year-old writer, whose acclaimed debut novel, Ghana Must Go has been showered with plaudits. You could hardly hear a pin drop as she read, the words on the page sounding like poetry as they reverberated around the cavernous basement space.
Selasi was named as a 2013 Granta Best Young British Novelist and her writing has been compared to that of Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As Venetia Butterfield, publishing director of Viking, told the audience, Selasi “exploded on to the literary scene,” with reviewers using words like “brilliant,” ”mesmerising,” “unforgettable” and “wonderful” to describe her book. Butterfield herself has read the novel many times and said: “It never creases to make me cry.”