A Nobel laureate offers a keen, thought-provoking analysis of Africa's current crises and points the way to cultural and political renewalA member of the unique generation of African writers and intellectuals who came of age in the last days of colonialism, Wole Soyinka has witnessed the promise of independence and lived through postcolonial failure. He deeply comprehends the pressing problems of Africa, and, an irrepressible essayist and a staunch critic of the oppressive boot, he unhesitatingly speaks out.In this magnificent new work, Soyinka offers a wide-ranging inquiry into Africa's culture, religion, history, imagination, and identity. He seeks to understand how the continent's history is entwined with the histories of others, while exploring Africa's truest assets: "its humanity, the quality and valuation of its own existence, and modes of managing its environment--both physical and intangible (which includes the spiritual)."Fully grasping the extent of Africa's most challenging issues, Soyinka nevertheless refuses defeatism. With eloquence he analyzes problems ranging from the meaning of the past to the threat of theocracy. He asks hard questions about racial attitudes, inter-ethnic and religious violence, the viability of nations whose boundaries were laid out by outsiders, African identity on the continent and among displaced Africans, and more. Soyinka's exploration of Africa relocates the continent in the reader's imagination and maps a course toward an African future of peace and affirmation.
"An intellectually robust, book-length essay that attempts to unravel the paradoxes and contradictions plaguing Nigeria and, by extension, Africa./i>
--George Ayittey"Wall Street Journal" (11/03/2012)
Praise for Wole Soyinka
"[Soyinka is] a master of language and [is committed] as a dramatist and writer of poetry and prose to problems of general and deep significance for man."--Lars Gyllensten, from his presentation speech awarding Wole Soyinka the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1986
"A brilliant imagist who uses poetry and drama to convey his inquisitiveness, frustration, and sense of wonder."--Newsweek
"If the spirit of African democracy has a voice and a face, they belong to Wole Soyinka."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., New York Times
Praise for the works of Wole Soyinka:
Ake The Years of Childhood
"A classic of African autobiography, indeed a classic of childhood memoirs wherever and whenever produced."--New York Times Book Review
You Must Set Forth At Dawn: A Memoir
"By turns panoramic and intimate, ruminative and politically resolute, Soyinka's memoir is a dense but intriguing conversation between a writer and his times."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Soyinka . . . has established himself as one of the most compelling literary voices in black Africa."-- New York Times
The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis
"Soyinka's political writings have always combined polemical force with expository grace, and his stinging characterization of Nigeria as a failed state is no exception."--Foreign Affairs
Wole Soyinka, the first African to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, is a Nigerian writer, poet, and playwright. For his implacable resistance to political tyranny he has been imprisoned, threatened with assassination, and at times forced to live in exile.