Soyinka, Wole

12/07/2001 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413744203

About Ibadan

The third volume of the Wole Soyinka's classic works of autobiography.

An uneasy evening in the Kray twins' pub in London's East End with world-famous theatre director Joan Littlewood; a lightning bolt that strikes the light switch beside his desk at school; a confrontation in Cairo Airport's quarantine compound which nearly ends in his being beaten to death - many such bizarre encounters form a regular pattern for Maren, Wole Soyinka's alter ego in this account of his boyhood and young manhood.

Ibadan occupies a special place in the story. This is where the schoolboy finally breaks free from the liberal Christianity of his parental home, and where he later begins his running battle with corrupt authority, contesting the infamy of power, first with his dramatic satires and then through direct action, eventually holding up a radio station at gunpoint.


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.



'Wole Soyinka's Nobel Prize for Literature is a triumphant affirmation of the universality of this novelist, poet, film-maker and political activist'

The Guardian


'One of the liveliest, most exciting writers in the world today'

The New York Times

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