An acclaimed Nigerian novelist, poet, and a professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University, Helon Habila speaks nationally and internationally on the subjects of immigration, art and activism. He has delivered at the DeGraaf Lecture at Hope College and has spoken at the Abantu Lit Fest in South Africa. Habila’s first novel, Waiting for an Angel, received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book He also authored Measuring Time, which was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize and won the Virginia Library Foundation Prize for fiction. His third novel, Oil on Water, won many prizes including the Pen/Open Book Award; Commonwealth Best Book, Africa Region; and The Orion Book Award. His most recent book is The Chibok Girls, a nonfiction account of the girls abducted by Boko Haram. His new novel, Travelers, about African immigrants in Europe, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in June 2019. In addition to being a novelist, Habila has written award-winning poetry and short-story collections, including Prison Stories which won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2001.
Habila divides his time between his native Nigeria and the USA, where he lives with his wife and three children.