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The Diriye Osman Media Archive

Diriye Osman

This is an (almost) definitive archive of interviews, reviews, profiles and essays by and about Diriye Osman and his literary output. The range is extensive and covers intimate explorations of the cultural impact of Diriye's work. Alongside the critical analyses, dissertations and theses about his work in many different languages, you'll also find Diriye's sole radio interview, which was recorded for the BBC. There's a total of one video recording of Diriye in the public domain (a conversation with the late Binyavanga Wainaina). This clip is embedded below. There is also the only magazine published extract of Diriye's rare, limited edition novel, We Once Belonged to the Sea, of which only ten copies exist in the world. This archive is meant to be a resource—particularly for students, scholars and fans of Diriye's work. Even though the majority of the work presented here is in English, there are also intensive profiles and articles in French, Norwegian, Danish, Italian and Spanish. Thank you once again and enjoy. INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS, ESSAYS AND PROFILES A short primer on queer African literature featuring Diriye Osman's Fairytales for Lost Children, which you can read over at Book Riot:

A comprehensive profile of Diriye's work over at the British Council: Diriye Osman's most powerful interview yet, which covers his art, literature and personal experiences, which you can read over at Open Country.

Multi-award winning novelist, poet and critic, Sofia Samatar, profiles Diriye for The New Inquiry:

The original announcement that Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children had won the prestigious Polari Prize for Fiction:

In 2015, Diriye was listed as one of the most influential LGBTQIA people in the UK by The Independent:

An op-ed piece Diriye wrote for The Guardian about the value of transgressive literature: An op-ed piece Diriye wrote for Time Out Magazine about the moral duty to speak out againt anti-gay legislation across Africa: A poetic, deeply felt review of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children for influential website, Africa is a Country: Diriye's powerful review of John R. Gordon's seminal, Ferro-Grumbley Award-winning Drapetomania for the Financial Times: High fashion model and radical feminist writer, Jess Cole, shares her love for Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children.

Diriye's groundbreaking collection of interlinked stories, The Butterfly Jungle, is included in this selection of the 100 notable African books of 2022: Diriye wrote this poetic introduction to an anthology of young, queer African writers: Diriye's brilliant The Butterfly Jungle is included in this list of anticipated LGBTQIA literature by Lambda Literary Magazine: The gifted poet and critic, July Westhale praises the power of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children in Lambda Literary Magazine: Booker Prize winner, Bernardine Evaristo's rave review of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children: An early appreciation in The Daily Telegraph by Ellah Alfrey for Diriye's writing, particularly the short story, 'Earthling':

The brilliant, Spanish critic, Carlos Bajo, shares his appreciation for Diriye's radical work: Award-winning Scottish novelist and short story writer, Kirsty Logan, mentions Diriye's short story, 'If I Were A Dance' in her list of the best LGBT sex in literature for The Guardian: A mention of Diriye Osman's writing as leading the way in Afrocyberpunk literature by The Guardian: One of Diriye's first published short stories, the seminal 'Pavilion', which was first presented by Prospect Magazine: Diriye's first truly viral op-ed, 'To Be Young, Gay and African', which was originally published by the Huffington Post and reprinted here in Afropunk: An extensive database of Diriye's entire collection of essays, reviews, op-eds and interviews for the Huffington Post: Diriye first wrote about the idea of femininity in men is a form of power for Vice (edited by queer luminary, Amelia Abraham): A list of the LGBT writers to watch out for in fashion bible, Dazed, which includes Diriye's arresting work: A touching interview of Diriye Osman by African scholar, Louis Pilard, which you can read here: A delightful conversation between German cultural curator, Anna Jäger, and Diriye: A charming mention of Diriye and Binyavanga Wainaina's incredibly fun conversation, which was shot by Iranian filmmaker, Bahareh Hosseini:

An Italian article praising Diriye Osman, the late Binyavanga Wainaina and Bernardine Evaristo for their representations of Afroqueer realities: An article about Diriye Osman, Warsan Shire, Nadifa Mohamed and the great Ngugi wa Thiong'o for the New Internationalist: An in-depth, thorough profile of Diriye Osman by the legendary Spanish cultural critic, Carlos Bajo: A celebration of the top ten gay characters from African literature that everyone should read, which mentions Diriye's radical portrayal of a working class gay character in 'Shoga': A thrilling, beautiful review of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children: Darkowaa of African Book Addict has been one of Diriye's early supporters and in this mesmeric review, she declares Fairytales for Lost Children as one of her favourite books: Gianna Jackson, another brilliant digital critic, praises Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children: A compendium of all the articles Diriye has written for the Medium platform: One of the pre-eminent African literary scholars in Spain, Federico Vivanco, praises Diriye's Cuentos para niños perdidos (translated by Héctor F. Santiago Perez): Diriye's moving essay for Prospect Magazine about how a library saved his life: Queer feminist icon, Roxane Gay, praises Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children for The Nation: A short, beautifully written review of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children: The late, great writer, Binyavanga Wainaina, picks Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children as one of the best books of the year for The Guardian:

A Danish review of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children: Queer feminist writer and photographer, Sokari Ekine, interviews Diriye Osman about his writing and extraordinary life: A brief mention of Diriye Osman's groundbreaking queer literary output in an article about queer literature in Africa: A Norwegian article about Diriye's 2022 performance in Oslo: A Norwegian article anticipating Diriye's 2022 Oslo performance, which was the first time that he travelled outside the UK in over two decades: A Norwegian article about Diriye's Oslo performance: An insightful review of Diriye's Fairytales for Lost Children: An article about Diriye's passion for writing about androgynous, unusual characters: An article listing Diriye's The Butterfly Jungle as one of the 60 notable books of 2022: In this Huffington Post essay, Diriye writes about how art can save a life: Diriye's first essay for The Huffington Post, which was called 'To Be Young, Gay and African': A touching essay by Diriye on the advice he would give to his thirteen year old self, which was published by The Huffington Post: The original publication of Diriye's viral essay, 'Femininity in Men is a Form of Power' for The Huffington Post: A short Spanish mention of Diriye's short story, 'Earthling': The French translation of Diriye's essay, 'Femininity in Men is a Form of Power': The only magazine extract of Diriye's super-rare novel, We Once Belonged to the Sea: An article about the importance of Diriye's writing as a gay African man: An in-depth interview with Diriye Osman: Two young, Somali-Canadian students reflect upon the impact of Diriye's work on their personal and creative lives:

Diriye's longform profile on the Somali-American literary visionary, Sofia Samatar, for Open Country:

The Spanish translation of Diriye's short story, 'We Dream Because We Must' in leading Mexican literary magazine, Tierra Adentro:

The Spanish translation of Diriye's short story, 'Watering the Imagination' for Mexican literary magazine, Tierra Adentro:

An early interview with Diriye by acclaimed journalist, Hope Whitmore:


Diriye's sole radio interview, which was for the BBC, shortly after he won the prestigious Polari Prize for Fiction and became the first African writer to do so:

Diriye Osman and Binyavanga Wainaina in conversation:


Instrumentals for Lost Children by Colorado-based artist, debthedemo, which you can buy via this link.

If I Were A Dance by Fijian artist, Mustafa Rafiq, which can you buy via this link.


'Queering Somali Storytelling; Afro-Fabulation, Narration, and the Queer Black Body in Diriye Osman's The Butterfly Jungle'—Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, Longing for the Future (Routledge, 2023).

'The Representation of Queer African Identities in Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman'—Granados Binternagel, Jorge Fernando 'Inviting Interruptions: Wonder Tales in the Twenty-first Century'—edited by Cristina Bacchilega, Jennifer Orme (Wayne Street University Press, 2021). 'Breaking/Voicing the Silence: Diriye Osman's Fairytales for Lost Children'—Asuncion Aragon (ALT 36: Queer Theory in Film and Fiction, Cambridge University Press, 2018)

'Decolonizing sexualities: Transnational perspectives, critical interventions'—edited by Sandeep Bakshi, Suhraiya Jivraj and Silvia Posocco (Counterpress, 2016) 'Hearing eyes' by Sylvia Mieszkowski (Short Fiction in Theory & Practice 11 (1-2), 3-10, 2021) 'Watering the Imagination': Childhood and the Spaces of African Queerness' by Bernie Lombardi (College Literature 45 (4), 687-694, 2018) 'Redefining the Boundaries: Black and Asian Queer Desire' by Kate Houlden (Cambridge University Press, 2020) 'Blessed and Banned: Surveillance and Refusal in Somali Diasporic Art & Literature' by Danielle Haque (Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies 9 (1), 41-65, 2022). 'Swimming Against Binary Tides: The Gender Queer’s Use of Religion, Family and Advocacy as Escape in Selected Narratives of Diriye Osman’s Fairytales for Lost Children' by Cynthia Derx Techie, Philomena Yeboah, Daniel Okyere-Darko (INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GENERAL STUDIES (IJGS) 2 (2), 2022) 'Sounding diasporic dislocation: The object voice in postcolonial short stories' by Jorge Sacido-Romero (Short Fiction in Theory & Practice 11 (1-2), 11-25, 2021) 'Conscripts of Migration: Neoliberal Globalization, Nationalism, and the Literature of New African Diasporas' by Christopher Ian Foster (University Press of Mississippi, 2019). 'Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship: Reflections on African Diasporic Queer Imaginaries' by Wesley Macheso (Gender Questions 10 (1), 18 pages-18 pages, 2022). 'Homosextualities: Translating the Gay Male Body in Contemporary Postcolonial Fiction' by Sean Alan Weaver (Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College) 'Multicultural Adolescence and Its Identitary Vicissitudes in Contemporary British Short Stories' by Jorge Sacido-Romero (Postcolonial Youth in Contemporary British Fiction, 149-172, 2021). 'Diasporic Childhoods: Reimagining Queer Africa in 21st Century Literature' by Bernie Lombardi (Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School-Newark, 2020) 'Dynamics of female agency of patriarchal repression and matriarchal oppression in selected African homosexual narratives' by Ayobami Olajumoke Onanuga (Obafemi Awolowo University, 2021) 'Gender, Sexuality and Identities of the Borderlands: Queering the Margins' by Suzanne Clisby (Routledge, 2020). 'Fiction as prosthesis: Reading the contemporary African queer short story' by Wesley Paul Macheso (Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 58 (2), 8-17, 2021) 'Queer Theory in Film & Fiction' by Ernest N Emenyonu and John C Hawley (Boydell & Brewer, 2018). 'Imagined worlds' by John Marnell (Overland, 12-18, 2014) "Unorthodox Conduct": Re-membering Queer Africa in Literature and Film by Matthew Patrick Durkin (PhD dissertation, McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts) 'Pleasure in Queer African Studies: Screenshots of the Present' by Brenna Munro (College Literature, Johns Hopkins University Press, Volume 45, Number 4, Fall 2018). 'LGBT Literature' by Julie Beaulieu ( Companion to Sexuality Studies, 299-317, 2020) 'Black migrant literature, new African Diasporas, and the phenomenology of movement' by Christopher Ian Foster ( 'Negotiating Afroeuropean literary borders: The inclusion of African Spanish and African British literatures in Spanish universities' by Maya G Vinuesa (Locating African European Studies, 294-310, 2019) 'Post-ID: Five Lessons in Post-Identity Politics from the Postcolony' by Chantal Zabus (Recherche littéraire/Literary Research, 29, 2020) 'African literature in the digital age: class and sexual politics in new writing from Nigeria and Kenya' by Shola Adenekan (Boydell & Brewer, 2021) 'Writing migration through the body' by Emma Bond (Springer, 2018).


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