LITERATURE: Wole Soyinka

The world pays tribute to eleven who stirred emotions and laid foundations LITERATURE

Despite its tendency to distribute awards along geopolitical lines, the Swedish Academy of Letters waited 85 years before bestowing the Nobel Prize for Literature on a black African. Yet when the laurel finally passed last week to Wole Soyinka, 52, a Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist, essayist and indefatigable polemicist, the justice seemed more than demographic. Discriminating theatergoers in London and New York City, as well as in Africa, have known for two decades that Soyinka is a writer worth watching and hearing. An evening in the presence of his words might bring anything: A Dance of the Forests (1960), a dreamlike,...

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