In conversation with Michael Krasny
Tuesday, April 25, 2005
The first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Wole Soyinka is a poet, playwright, and critic whose work reflects a wide cultural perspective and a deep commitment to social justice. Born in Nigeria, Soyinka blends African with European dramatic and literary traditions in his writing to illustrate the drama and comedy of human existence. Drawing on Yoruban and western storytelling traditions, Soyinka weaves powerful narratives with wordplay, social references, and poignant allusions to folklore and mythology. Soyinka?s hallmark is his dramatic work, including Kongi?s Harvest, Madmen and Specialists, The Road, and Death and the King?s Horseman. During the civil war in Nigeria, Soyinka was an outspoken advocate for African democracy and justice. Unjustly arrested and accused of conspiracy in 1967, Soyinka surreptitiously wrote stories and essays on discarded cigarette packages, toilet paper, and between the lines of hidden books. His clandestine writing appears in The Man Died: The Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka. Exiled three times and marked for death at least five separate times, Soyinka has chronicled his remarkable life in several memoirs, including Ake, and You Must Set Forth at Dawn, which describes his brave public and political life.
Added by primco on January 6, 2006