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Diriye Osman
Diriye Osman is a Somali-British short story writer and visual artist. His writing has appeared in Time Out, Attitude, Prospect, Poetry Review, Kwani?, Jungle Jim, Under The Influence and SCARF Magazine. His critically-acclaimed debut Fairytales For Lost Children is published by Team Angelica Press. You can find him on

Entries by Diriye Osman

Bernardine Evaristo, Literary Rebel With a Cause

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 3:43 PM


In a revealing interview with Salon, Donna Tartt once said, "I had a fairly well-known editor tell me that The Secret History would never be published because no successful book by a woman had ever been written from the point of...

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How Art Can Save a Life

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 2:51 PM


(Diriye Osman is photographed by Boris Mitkov).

I'm sitting here feeling worn and scratched -- a vinyl record that has seen better days. I've grown accustomed to this feeling. Oftentimes, it is accompanied by days of lying in front of the television, blanket...

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The Magic of Meshell Ndegeocello

(2) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 8:57 AM

There's an exquisite, life-affirming quote by Audre Lorde in which she says, "I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood."

For Lorde, reticence was the...

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The Caine Prize and the Rise of the African Short Story

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 5:34 PM


(Pictured above: The Kenyan writer and editor, Billy Kahora).

As a short story writer, there's nothing more gratifying to me than reading a gorgeously crafted piece of short fiction. The form's raison d'être is brevity and the best short story writers don't waste...

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Femininity in Men Is a Form of Power

(5) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 6:54 PM


When I first told my friends that I would be wearing a pearl-studded mock-Elizabethan gown for the cover of my book, Fairytales For Lost Children, they were doubtful. In the past I had flirted with androgyny by wearing women's jewelry and...

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The Dazzling Story of an Older, Gay, Caribbean Dandy

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 12:16 PM


James Baldwin once stated that "love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within." This is a sentiment that applies equally to anyone who has ever experienced a profound sense of difference, a secret identity...

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For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Was Not Enough

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 12:40 PM


There's a revelatory Lauryn Hill song called "Little Boys", in which she sings, "What happens to young men/ Disappointed once again/ When they find out they're not supposed to grow?/ Do their lives become a lie?/ Should they wither up and...

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Why We Must Tell Our Own Stories

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 5:44 PM


I once attended a book club in which my short story collection, Fairytales for Lost Children, was being discussed. Except for me and the acquaintance who had invited me to this event, all the members of this book club were white...

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How Mental Illness Fed My Creativity

(5) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 9:22 PM


There's no romance to mental illness. Whether you're suffering from psychosis or schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression, the realities of mental ill-health often mean a life disrupted by isolation, harrowing symptoms, hospitalizations, discrimination and despair. At a time when the government seems hell-bent...

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My Mother's Courage Inspired Me to Become the Man I Am Today

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:56 PM

(Diriye Osman is photographed by Boris Mitkov).

There is a Zulu philosophy called "Ubuntu", which literally translates as "humanness". Desmond Tutu broke down this philosophy by adding definition, texture and tone to its rhythm. He explained it as such: "Ubuntu speaks...

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To Be Young, Gay and African

(19) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 8:15 AM

When I first came out to my family, most of them stopped talking to me. My father, who I was very close to, stopped speaking to me for two years before picking up the phone late one night to let me know that my being gay was not only an...

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