Doreen Baingana Interviewed by Washington City Paper

Writer’s Shock: Author Doreen Baingana Prepares to Pen a Travelogue from Memory

by Christina Lee

Somewhere in Kenya, during a six-hour bus ride from Mombasa to Nairobi this fall, the Kenya-based, Uganda-born Doreen Baingana’s laptop was stolen. In an Oct. 21 e-mail, her devastation was clear: “I am in shock right now. I will just have to use my memory. Terrible.”

That laptop has every interview that Baingana, who for the last 16 years has lived in the D.C. area, recorded for her first nonfiction book. For a month during this year’s World Cup, Baingana conducted research in the Somaliland region of strife-weary Somalia with a grant from Bard College’s Chinua Achebe Center. Somaliland has struggled to gain formal recognition as an independent state.

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