Novelist Uzodinma Iweala, of Beasts of No Nation fame, gets literature in his medicine — or maybe medicine in his literature:
"I don't think the two are mutually exclusive," Iweala said of writing books and attending medical school as he sat in a coffee shop the day after he returned from an African writers' conference in Italy. "Will it be hard to do the two together? Oh, yeah, it will be very hard. I'm not kidding myself."
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As he entered Harvard, his parents "strongly suggested" he focus on premed but he insists they weren't dictatorial. He also majored in English, American Literature and Language. He'd planned to go to medical school right out of Harvard. But that was before the unexpected publication and success of "Beasts."
Writers, to a degree, exist in a bubble, Iweala said, because they are removed from other people. As a doctor -- a doctor with extraordinary writing abilities -- he believes he can have greater impact.
"Who says that's the absolute rule: that you can't do the two together, that you can't do the two together well and that it won't enrich your life to have both?"
Who says indeed.