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Soyinka, Wole

nigerian critic english novel

(Nigerian, 1934– )

Soyinka has been imprisoned repeatedly and exiled in his fight for Nigerian democracy; he is fiercely intelligent and energetic. He studied at Leeds University and directed for the Royal Court Theatre. Primarily known as a playwright, he is also a poet, actor, critic, and novelist. In his first novel, The Interpreters (1965), a group of disenchanted yet enthusiastic intellectuals pontificate on the unscrupulous and cynical society around them. Soyinka's second novel, Season of Anomy (1973), is set against the background of the Nigerian Civil War. His writing is a beautiful blend of English, Yoruba, and Pidgin English, and in 1986 he became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. A critic of the former Nigerian leader, General Sani Abacha, the politically outspoken Soyinka returned to Nigeria in October 1998 after four years in exile.

Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Ben Okri  EW

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