Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka

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9780140038460: Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka

The Nobel Prize-winning African writer, Wole Soyinka, was imprisoned without trial by the federal authorities at the start of the Nigerian Civil War. Here he records his arrest and interrogation, the efforts made to incriminate him, and the searing mental effects of solitary confinement.

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About the Author:

Wole Soyinka (born in 1934), Nigerian dramatist and probably Africa's most versatile author, educated at the universities of Ibdan and Leeds. He was play reader at the Royal Court Theatre, London, where The Swamp Dwellers (1958), The Lion and the Jewel and The Invention (both 1959) were produced. These already demonstrated his development from simple Nigerian village comedies to a more complex and individual drama incorporating mime and dance. Back in Nigeria from 1960, a series of university posts and the opportunity of producing and acting in his own plays gave him the self-confidence to undertake even more daring innovations, e.g. in A Dance of the Forests (1960), a half-satirical, half-fantasic celebration of Nigerian indpendence. Soyinka's first novel, The Interpreters (1965), captures the idealism of young Nigerians regarding the development of a new Africa - possibly aniticipating a new Biafra. In prison for pro-Biafran activity during 1967-9, he produced increasingly bleak verse and prose, Madmen and Specialists (1970), and his second novel, Season of Anomy. A brighter period has followed. Death and the King's Horsemen (1975) embodies his post-Biafran cultural philosophy, enunciated in Myth, Literature and the African World (1976), of the need for the distinct aesthetics of Africa and Europe to cross-fertilise each other. He is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Ife, Nigeria. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University, and has been accorded major literary prizes in England. He has also published a memoir The Man Died and a work of criticism Myth, Literature and the African World. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1986.

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Soyinka, Wole
Published by Penguin (1975)
ISBN 10: 0140038469 ISBN 13: 9780140038460
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