A Play of Giants


From The Wshington Post:

YOU MUST SET FORTH AT DAWN A Memoir by Wole Soyinka: Near the beginning of this sprawling, delightful memoir, Wole Soyinka — Nobel laureate, novelist, playwright, poet and human rights activist — makes a confession: He’s actually “a closet glutton for tranquility.” But his lifelong “craving for peace” has always run counter to the other imperative that has shaped his public persona: his quest for justice, particularly in his native Nigeria.

This weighty memoir, then, gives two views of Soyinka, one of Africa’s best-known and most prolific literary figures. One is the poignant, almost detached observer of Africa’s post-independence history who longs for solitude and takes soothing hunting trips in the bush; the other is the angry activist at the center of political events. The two stories are intertwined, and the book alternates between conversational, humorous passages and enraged ripostes against a succession of corrupt and incompetent Nigerian dictators, particularly Gen. Sani Abacha, the tyrant who ruled from 1993 to 1998 and forced Soyinka into exile on fear of death.

More here.