By Femi Ojo-Ade
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This is the story of a young African intellectual who returns home fom the West, filled with high hopes of setting an example of excellence for his colleagues in the university community. Soon enough, however, he encounters insurmountable opposition from the corrupt core that has transformed the citadel of learning into a den of sham and shalloweness.
The main character's challenge is how to stand tall in his quest for dignity and success. His personal life does not make the task anyeasier. His well-heeled, middle-class wife, a professional in her own right, is caught in her own world of deceit and self-gratification, in the company of the masters of the system. For his part, tha man goes searching for solace in the arms of a student beauty whom he calls his Amazon.
In a caustic language full of scathing satire and harsh humor, Ojo-Ade paints a tragic picture of academe. The novelist's use of dialogue is most interesting and thought provoking. This, as well as the detailed dramatic descriptions of individuals and event, makes Dead End an impressive narrative on the realities of the vaunted ivory Tower which can be as crude and crass as the envious outside community.
As the hero struggle for promotion to a professorchip, the apogee of every university teacher's career, he becomes ever more desperate and depressed, as he slides down towards the dead end of living death.
About the author: Formerly Professor and Head of Department of Foreign Languages at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, FEMI OJO-ADE is currently Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, USA, where he has been pioneer Coordinator of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program. An internationally recognized scholar of Black Literatures and Cultures, Ojo-Ade is also an award-winning creative writer.
In addition to many articles and essays, he has published eighteen books of criticism, fiction, and poetry. The long list includes:
- A. critical texts: ON BLACK CULTURE; BEING BLACK, BEING HUMAN; DEATH OF A MYTH: CRITICAL ESSAYS ON NIGERIA; KEN SARO-WIWA, A BIO-CRITICAL STUDY; LEON-GONTRAN DAMAS.
- B. fiction: HOME, SWEET, SWEET HOME (translated into Brazilian Portuguese as MAMA AFRICA); DEAD END; BLACK GODS; ONE LITTLE GIRL'S DREAMS.
- C. poetry: EXILE AT HOME.
- D. Ojo-Ade writes in several languages, including his native Yoruba, Englich, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. His first novel in French, LES PARADIS TERRESTRES, was recently co-published by African Heritage Press and Amoge Press.
More information on this writer may be obtaine at: http://www.smcm.edu
His creative works include:
- Dead End (2001)
- The Almond Tree (2000)
- Exile At Home (1998) (Honorable mention 1999 Association of Nigerian Authors/Cadbury prize for Poetry)
- Ken Saro-Wiwa: A Bio-Critical Study (1999)
- Black Gods (2002)
- One Little Girl’s Dream (wins Association of Nigerian Authors’ Prize for children’s Literature in 1999)
- Home Sweet Sweet Home (Translated into Portuguese)
- Death of a Myth: Critical Essays on Nigeria, Les Paradis Terrestres ( French 2003)
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