Wole Soyinka

22/02/2001 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413752000

About Isara


The second volume of Wole Soyinka's classic works of autobiography.


In 1984, two years after writing his classic childhood autobiography Aké: The Years of Childhood, Wole Soyinka opened a tin box that had belonged to his father, a schoolteacher during Nigeria's Colonial period.


The simple contents of this box - 'a handful of letters, old journals with marked pages and annotations, notebook jottings, tax and other levy receipts, minutes of meetings and school reports, programme notes of special events' - provide the fuel for this second instalment of Soyinka's memoirs: a son's fictionalised 'voyage' into the life and times of his father.


Wole Soyinka


Wole Soyinka - playwright, novelist, poet and polemical essayist - was born in Nigeria in 1934. He was educated at Government College, Ibadan and then at Leeds University, and worked in the British theatre before returning to Nigeria in 1960.


Soyinka's career as a political activist in exile is inseparable from his writing which has earned him worldwide acclaim. Soyinka's numerous plays include The Road, The Lion and the Jewel, Death and the King's Horseman and many others. His earlier prose work The Interpreters was awarded the Jock Campbell Prize for Commonwealth Literature. His collections of poetry include Idanre and Other Poems (1967) and A Shuttle in the Crypt (1972) were composed during a period of over two years in prison without trial, most of it in solitary confinement. He has also written two earlier autobiographical volumes, Ake: The Years of Childhood and Isara: A Voyage Around Essay, published in 1981 and 1990 respectively. In 1988 his collection of essays on literature and culture Art, Dialogue and Outrage was published.


He received a New Statesman John Whiting Award for 1966-7 and was Overseas Fellow at Churchill College Cambridge in 1973-4 where he wrote Death and the King's Horseman. He has been awarded the George Benson Medal for the Royal Society of Literature and the Unesco medal for the Arts. In 1986 he became the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is currently Woodruff Professor of the Arts, Emory University, Atlanta.



'The book yields the bounties of a superbly orchestrated narrative. The gentle laughter of hard-won wisdom pervades its pages. It grows on you later with the loveliness of a life well lived, with a hint that fulfilment is in contentment and that life's pleasures are won slowly ... Excellent'

Ben Okri The Daily Telegraph

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