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Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth

Wole Soyinka

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Bloomsbury
28 September 2021
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'Soyinka's greatest novel ... No one else can write such a book' - Ben Okri 'A high-jinks state-of-the-nation novel' - Chibundu Onuzo A towering figure in world literature, Wole Soyinka aims directly at the corridors of power as he warns against corruption both of high office and of the soul, with a dazzling lightness of touch and gleeful irreverence.

Much to Doctor Menka's horror, some cunning entrepreneur has decided to sell body parts from his hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Already at the end of his tether from the horrors he routinely sees in surgery, he shares this latest development with his oldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Payne, who has never before met a puzzle he couldn't solve. Neither realise how close the enemy is, nor how powerful.

Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is at once a savagely witty whodunit, a scathing indictment of Nigeria's political elite, and a provocative call to arms from one of the country's most relentless political activists and an international literary giant.

MORE PRAISE FOR WOLE SOYINKA: You don't see the things the same when you encounter a voice like that - Toni Morrison One of the best there is today, a poet and a thinker, who knows both how the world works and how the world should work - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
By:   Wole Soyinka
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   710g
ISBN:   9781526638236
ISBN 10:   1526638231
Pages:   464
Publication Date:   28 September 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Born in Nigeria in 1934, Wole Soyinka is an author, playwright, poet and political activist. His prolific body of work includes debut novel The Interpreters and play Death and the King's Horseman. Soyinka fought in the Nigerian war of independence and has subsequently been one of greatest critics of the Nigerian government. Twice jailed, he wrote part of his memoir on toilet paper in solitary confinement. A staunch critic of corrupt, authoritarian regimes everywhere, Soyinka destroyed his Green Card when Trump was elected in 2016. He is Africa's first Nobel Laureate in Literature.

Reviews for Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth

Is this a good place to confess my crush, an overly bashful crush, on this politically courageous literary stylist ... I look to Soyinka's life, not so much the choices he has made but the courage it took to make them, as a source of light * Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sunday Times * A vivid and wild romp ... A vast danse macabre. No one else can write such a book ... Chronicles is Soyinka's greatest novel ... It ought to be widely read * Ben Okri, Observer * A lion of African literature ... A brutally satirical look at power and corruption in Nigeria, told in the form of a whodunnit * Financial Times * A Nigerian icon ... A high-jinks state-of-the-nation novel * Chibundu Onuzo, Guardian * A black-humoured satire of contemporary Nigeria * Telegraph * This is an extraordinary novel that is both in and of Nigeria. It contains elements of Yoruba culture and, in the middle of it all, is a gourd full of satire, humor and pathos. It is a chronicle of human folly among the happiest people on earth. The writing alone is a wonder and a fitting coda for the career of this great writer * New York Journal of Books * Inspiring and original ... Soyinka's analysis of the 20th century problem of memory and forgiveness in the African world is both timely and important. Soyinka's analysis of the problem is an initial volley in what will surely become a 21st century debate * New York Times Book Review * With caustic wit, Soyinka's carnivalesque depictions of venality ferret out hypocrisy from behind its elaborate guises and condemn crimes that challenge the collective notion of soul . * New Yorker * Chronicles is many things at once: a caustic political satire, a murder mystery, a conspiracy story and a deeply felt lament for the spirit of a nation ... For all its sarcastic undertones, for all its puns and plays on names, Chronicles From the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is a pessimistic novel, the work of a man with no illusions * Juan Gabriel Vasquez, New York TImes * Swaggering and scabrous, at once a verbal spree and a fierce assault on totalitarianism * Observer * PRAISE FOR WOLE SOYINKA: You don't see things the same when you encounter a voice like that. * Toni Morrison * He is one of the best there is today, a poet and thinker who knows both how the world actually works and how the world should work. * Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie * Wole Soyinka is a giant of modern literature. * Robert McFarlane * To have contained in the body of his work the fullness of individual vision, the potency of myth, the corruptions of power, and the misery of the oppressed, is a rare feat. * Ben Okri *


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