Ken Saro - Wiwa: a bio - critical study
By Femi Ojo-Ade
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Ken Saro - Wiwa gained international acclaim as a human rights activist, an environmental crusader and a leader of the Ogoni, one of the major ethnic groups in the oil-producing delta area of Nigeria.
However, his life was more complex, more comprehensive, and more controversial. He combined human being. In this book, Femi Ojo-Ade presents a compelling analysis of the man, his life, and work, including fiction, poetry, drama, and essays. An intellectual, a businessman, and a politician, Saro-Wiwa explores all those existential realms in his writings. He was an impassionated partisan in the Nigerian civil war during which he became a close friend of the military who, ultimately, became his hangmen after a highly questionable murder charge. Saro-Wiwa's life is symptomatic of the dilemma of the potentially progressive elements within the African intelligentsia, confused in their quest for change by their inexplicable and often fatal attraction to military dictatorships whose objectives, ever retrogressive, have always been geared towards self-perpetuation in power. Eben in death, Saro-Wiwa remains very relevant, as the Nigerian tragedy of oppression and environmental de3gradation in the killing fields of the oil-producing areas, continues unabated.
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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