Sharon Dodua Otoo describes herself as “Black British mother, activist, author and editor”. She has published two novellas in English, the things i am thinking while smiling politely (2012) and Synchronicity (2014), and is the editor of the English-language book series Witnessed which focusses on the experiences of Black people in Germany. In 2016 Otoo won the prestigious Ingeborg-Bachmann prize for her German short story “Herr Gröttrupp setzt sich hin” (Herr Gröttrup Sits Down). Currently, she is working on her first novel in German which will be published in 2020.
In this interview, we speak about how the experiences as a writer and editor inform each other, if some stories can only be written in a specific language, and why trying to write as non-discriminatory as possible is not self-censorship but opens up new creative pathways.
Note: Because this episode was recorded in November 2018, when we refer to “this year” we speak about 2018, and “next year” means 2019.