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Ake: The Years of Childhood

by Wole Soyinka

A dazzling memoir of an African childhood from Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian novelist, playwright, and poet Wole Soyinka. Aké: The Years of Childhood gives us the story of Soyinka's boyhood before and during World War II in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria called Aké. A relentlessly curious child who loved books and getting into trouble, Soyinka grew up on a parsonage compound, raised by Christian parents and by a grandfather who introduced him to Yoruba spiritual traditions. His vivid evocation of the colorful sights, sounds, and aromas of the world that shaped him is both lyrically beautiful and laced with humor and the sheer delight of a child's-eye view. A classic of African autobiography, Aké is also a transcendantly timeless portrait of the mysteries of childhood.

Ambiguous Adventure

by Katherine Woods Wole Soyinka Cheikh Hamidou Kane

The celebrated classic by a groundbreaking figure in African literature addresses a critical contemporary issue--the collision of Islamic African values and Western culture.Hailed by Chinua Achebe as one of the greatest African novels ever written, this long-unavailable classic tells the tale of young Samba Diallo, a devout pupil in a Koranic school in Senegal whose parents send him to Paris to study philosophy.But unknown to Samba, it is a desperate attempt by his parents to better understand the French colonial forces transforming their traditional way of life. Instead, for Samba, it seems an exciting adventure, and once in France he excels at his new studies and is delighted by his new "marvelous comprehension and total communion" with the Western world.Soon, though, he finds himself torn between the materialistic secularism and isolation of French civilization and the deeper spiritual influences of his homeland. As Samba puts it: "I have become the two."Written in an elegant, lyrical prose, Ambiguous Adventure is a masterful expression of the immigrant experience and the repercussions of colonialism, and a great work of literature about the uneasy relationship between Islamic Africa and the West--a relationship more important today than ever before.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Climate of Fear

by Wole Soyinka

"Wole Soyinka was the first African to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In this year's prestigious series of Reith Lectures, Soyinka considers fear as a predominant theme in the world of politics"

Death and The King's Horseman

by Wole Soyinka Simon Gikandi

"Backgrounds and Sources" helps readers understand Death and the King's Horseman's traditional African contexts and the role of theater in African culture. Included are a map of Yoruba-land, discussions of Yoruban religious beliefs and cultural traditions, Soyinka on the various forms that theater has taken in African culture in order to survive, and Anthony Appiah on Soyinka's struggle with the problem of African identity in the creation of Death and the King's Horseman. Commentary on the play as both a theatrical production and a classroom text is provided by Gerald Moore, Tanure Ojaide, and Martin Rohmer. "Criticism" collects nine major essays on the play and the difficulties it presents to readers. Contributors include D. S. Izevbaye, Eldred Durosimi Jones, Henry Louis Gates Jr. , Biodun Jeyifo, Wole Soyinka, Joan Hepburn, Adebayo Williams, David Richards, and Olakunle George. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.

Season of Anomy

by Wole Soyinka

As mastermind of the Cocoa Corporation's publicity campaign, Ofeyi injects his advertising jingles with subtly subversive propaganda. Fantasy novel.

Soldiers in Hiding

by Wole Soyinka Richard Wiley

It's Tokyo, 1941. Teddy Maki and Jimmy Yakamoto are Japanese-American friends and jazz musicians playing Tokyo's lively nightclub scene. Stranded in Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Teddy and Jimmy are drafted into the Japanese army and sent to fight against American troops in the Philippines. Their perilous attempts to remain neutral in a conflict where their loyalties are deeply divided are shattered when Jimmy is killed by the commanding officer for refusing to shoot an American prisoner. The deed then falls to Teddy. Thirty years later, Teddy is married to Jimmy's widow, father to his son, a star on Japanese TV - and still wrestling with the guilt over Jimmy's death.Winner of the 1987 PEN/Faulkner Award for Best American Fiction, Soldiers in Hiding is a haunting portrayal of war's lingering emotional burdens. This revised edition features a new preface by the author and an introduction by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka.

You Must Set Forth at Dawn

by Wole Soyinka

The first African to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as a political activist of prodigious energies, Wole Soyinka now follows his modern classic Ake: The Years of Childhood with an equally important chronicle of his turbulent life as an adult in (and in exile from) his beloved, beleaguered homeland.In the tough, humane, and lyrical language that has typified his plays and novels, Soyinka captures the indomitable spirit of Nigeria itself by bringing to life the friends and family who bolstered and inspired him, and by describing the pioneering theater works that defied censure and tradition. Soyinka not only recounts his exile and the terrible reign of General Sani Abacha, but shares vivid memories and playful anecdotes-including his improbable friendship with a prominent Nigerian businessman and the time he smuggled a frozen wildcat into America so that his students could experience a proper Nigerian barbecue.More than a major figure in the world of literature, Wole Soyinka is a courageous voice for human rights, democracy, and freedom. You Must Set Forth at Dawn is an intimate chronicle of his thrilling public life, a meditation on justice and tyranny, and a mesmerizing testament to a ravaged yet hopeful land.From the Hardcover edition.

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