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What Can We Learn From Berlin? Musa Okwonga

Festival of the Future City
Musa Okwonga

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Writer, broadcaster and musician Musa Okwonga talks about his new novel and the city of Berlin.

Okwonga’s In the End, It Was All About Love is a great Berlin story – but it is also about the ills and troubles challenging the world and us. The narrator arrives in Berlin, a place famed for its hedonism, to find peace and maybe love; only to discover that the problems which have long haunted him have arrived there too, and are more present than ever.

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, nearing the age where his father was killed in a brutal revolution, he drifts through this endlessly addictive and sometimes mystical city, through its slow days and bottomless nights, wondering whether he will ever escape the damage left by his father’s death. With the world as a whole more uncertain, as both the far-right and global temperatures rise at frightening speed, he finds himself fighting a fierce inner battle against his turbulent past, for a future free of his fear of failure, of persecution, and of intimacy.

In The End, It Was All About Love is a journey of loss and self-acceptance that takes its nameless narrator all the way through bustling Berlin to his roots, a quiet village on the Uganda-Sudan border. It is a bracingly honest story of love, sexuality and spirituality; of racism, dating, and alienation; of fleeing the greatest possible pain, and of the hopeful road home.

Buy a copy of Musa Okwonga’s In the End, It was All About Love from Waterstones, our bookselling partners.

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Musa Okwonga

Musa Okwonga is a writer, broadcaster and musician. The co-host of the Stadio football podcast, he has published one collection of poetry and three books about football, the first of which, A Cultured Left Foot, was nominated for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. His work has appeared in various outlets, including Africa Is A Country, Byline Times, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, The New York Times, The Economist and The Ringer. His latest books are In the End, It Was All About Love and One of Them: An Eton College Memoir. He lives in Berlin.

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Festival of the Future City

Festival of the Future City takes place every two years in Bristol. This year – due to the pandemic – the festival brings together live on-stage, live online and pre-recorded events. Check the project page for details and follow #FutureCity21 on Twitter.

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