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Amos Tutuola Biography

(1920–1999), The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Tre‐Taliesin Cardiganshire to Hilda Vaughan Biography

Nigerian novelist, born in Abeokuta, educated at the Anglican Central School in that town; he was a founder member of the Mbari Club, a group of influential writers and publishers including Wole Soyinka in their membership. Tutuola's novels are written in highly idiosyncratic English which initially caused much controversy, particularly on the first publication of The Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952); this was translated into many languages, and was followed by another visionary novel with symbolic and allegorical overtones, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954). Highly individual in style, these novels owe something to the Yoruba oral tradition, and the Yoruba writings of D. O. Fagunwa. Other novels include Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle (1955), The Brave White Huntress (1958), Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty (1967), and Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer (1987). In most of these a hero with supernatural powers or support goes forth on a quest and triumphs over suffering. Yoruba Folktales (1986) and The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories (1990) are volumes of short fiction.

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