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Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, 1983
1986 Nobel Prize in Literature & was the first from Africa to
get the coveted award.
Born: 13/07/1934 in Abeokuta, a city in
South-West Nigeria situated on the banks of Ogun river.
Citizen: Nigerian but in 1994, he fled
Nigeria through its border with Benin and finally to USA.
Akinwajide Oluwole 'Wole' Soyinka in short Wole
Soyinka was a Nigerian playwright and poet. His literary latent
blossomed at an early age. In 1940 while in school, he bagged several
prizes in literary competitions. In 1946, he joined Govt. College at
Ibadan which was an elite institution. In 1952, he joined University
College of Ibadan which was affiliated to University of London and
studied English Literature, Greek and Western Philosophy for his
degree in Graduation. In 1954, he moved to England and worked at
University of Leeds. It was here that he came across several writers
and was part of a vibrant literary culture that nourished him. He was
also the Editor of a satirical magazine The Eagle.
In January, 1966, A military coup took
place and Nigeria passed into an era of dictatorship. Soyinka
continued to criticize corruption and Government censorship for which
he was imprisoned for 22 months. Still he continued to write and his
play The Lion and the Jewel was staged in Accra, capital of Ghana in
September, 1967. In October, 1969 he was freed under a general amnesty
by the government following the end of civil war between the govt. and
the biafrian tribes.
1971 was an eventful year for Soyinka. His
poetry collection, A Shuttle in the Crypt was published
followed by Madmen and Specialists. His autobiographical work,
The Man Died, was also released in the same year creating a
literary and political sensation. In 1971, with the worsening of the
political situation, Soyinka preferred voluntary exile to Paris. He
returned back in 1975 after situation improved.
In 2011, the African Heritage Research
Library and Cultural Centre built a writers' enclave in his honour.
which is located in Adeyipo Village, Ibadan, Nigeria. The enclave
includes a Writer-in-Residence Programme that enables writers to stay
for a period of two, three or six months, engaging in serious creative
Interpreters(1964); Seasons of Anomia, The Man Died: Prison Notes
(1971);You Must Set forth at Dawn(2006); Mandela's Earth
and Other Poems(1988), The Ballad of the Landlord, After
the Deluge, The Swamp Dwellers (1958) which was his first
major play, The Lion and the Jewel(1959) which was a
comedy and a sharp criticism of country's ruling elite, A Dance of
the Forests(1960), Death and the King's Horseman, Madmen &
Order Wole Soyinka's Books below