The first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature gives us a tour de force, his first novel in nearly half a century: a savagely satiric, gleefully irreverent, rollicking fictional meditation on how power and greed can corrupt the soul of a nation.
In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from Dr. Menka's hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Dr. Menka shares the grisly news with his oldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer, and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Payne. The life of every party, Duyole is about to assume a prestigious post at the United Nations in New York, but it now seems that someone is determined that he not make it there. And neither Dr. Menka nor Duyole knows why, or how close the enemy is, or how powerful.
Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is at once a literary hoot, a crafty whodunit, and a scathing indictment of political and social corruption. It is a stirring call to arms against the abuse of power from one of our fiercest political activists, who also happens to be a global literary giant.
About the Author
WOLE SOYINKA was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. Born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, in 1934, he is an author, playwright, poet, and political activist whose prolific body of work includes The Interpreters, his debut novel that was published in 1965, and Death and the King's Horseman, a play that was first performed in 1976. Soyinka was twice jailed in Nigeria for his criticism of the Nigerian government, and he destroyed his U.S. Green Card in 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
Praise for Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
“Soyinka is unquestionably Africa’s most versatile writer and arguably her finest.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Wole Soyinka is one of the best there is today.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Soyinka is a brilliant imagist who uses poetry and drama to convey his inquisitiveness, frustration, and sense of wonder.”
“Wole Soyinka belongs in the company of V. S. Naipaul, V. S. Pritchett, and Vladimir Nabokov.”
—The New York Times
“You don’t see things the same way when you encounter a voice like that of Wole Soyinka.”