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  • Niyi Osundare: A Literary Biography By Sule E. Egya ()
    In this literary biography, Sule E. Egya, one of Nigeria’s most promising scholar-critics, brings the skills of the storyteller and the scholar to bear on his recreation of the Osundare story. The result is a readable coming-of-age story that traces the writer’s development from his rural and agrarian roots in Nigeria, through his education in Africa, Europe and North America, to his rise to prominence as one of the most versatile poets writing in English today.

    There can be no better platform to register the debt that Osundare owes his parentage, the rigorous discipline of his mentors and the diverse environments in which his outlook on the world has been shaped than this carefully crafted biography. Egya highlights Osundare’s prodigious talent, his unwavering ethical compass, his infectious humanism, his enduring faith in the capacity of literature to reshape the world, and the harmony between his creative imagination and polemical writing. Readers and critics will find the biography an indispensable companion to reading Osundare not just because of the illuminating personal and cultural information that it offers, but also because it equally periodizes Osundare’s work in a way no other book has done.
    Prof. Oyeniyi Okunoye, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

    In Niyi Osundare: A Literary Biography, Sule E. Egya takes us on a journey of the life experiences of the artist-scholar Niyi Osundare. Indeed, there are some books a reader just can’t put down. This is one of them. It takes you to the other worlds beyond the popular world of artistry and scholarship of one of Africa’s most accomplished men of letters.
    Dr. Ogaga Okuyade, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Sule E. Egya is professor of African Literature and Cultural Studies at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Nigeria. He was formerly Head of the Department of English and Dean of Faculty of Languages and Communication Studies. Widely published and travelled, his interests include literature and politics, literature and the environment, literary theory, and creative writing. He is also an award-winning writer, having authored works of poetry and fiction under the style name E. E. Sule. Among his works are Sterile Sky, winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Prize Africa Region, and the AHP-sponsored Nation, Power and Dissidence in Third Generation Nigerian Poetry in English.

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  • Dialogue with my Country By Niyi Osundare ()
    Niyi Osundare's poetry, as exemplified in this volume, portrays the realism of a keen and critical intelligence.

    Dialogue With My Country, Niyi Osundare’s latest book, which is a compilation of articles written under his 24-year-old column in Newswatch, makes a debut

    Niyi Osundare, poet, writer and professor of English, is an angry man. Last week, many who gathered at the presentation of his book titled: Dialogue With My Country, caught a glimpse of his feeling of anger which emitted from the pages of the compilation of his column in Newswatch magazine. For 24 years through the magazine, Osundare had used the pen as a dagger to disembowel the high and the mighty in the society.

    Keith Richards, managing director of Promasidor, who reviewed the book, aptly captured Osundare’s anger in his review. “While this is a collection that contains both wit and wisdom, it is fundamentally an angry book. The quiet rage may be contained in a wrapper of humour and softened by the style and pedigree of his prose but Osundare is true to his belief that the basis of all art is justice.”

    According to Richards, not only were the issues raised in the column relevant today, but they were also prescient. When Osundare’s column criticised the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, of the time, he didn’t envisage that to date Nigerians would still be talking about the seven-point agenda and though he decried the National Electric Power Authority, NEPA, the Power Holding Company Nigeria, PHCN, is still a problem. He had written against campuses emptied by cultism in the past, yet today, they are laid to waste by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. In March 1993, he wrote surely, Nigeria’s democratic experimentation must be the most expensive in the world. He probably had not imagined that today the cost of the legislature would be colossal.  “It is no wonder that the satire and ridicule that appealed to Newswatch readers originally should be so contemporary till this very moment. It is no wonder that Osundare’s wit and humour, his passion and connection barely disguise his anger and frustration,” Richards said.

    Richards said the book is a must read for those who want to know more about Nigeria. For one, it prompted memories and sometimes a bitter smile of reminiscence for older Nigerians.  For younger Nigerians, especially those educated abroad who are disappointed with the economic situation in the country today, it facilitates a greater understanding of those with a touch of grey hair. For expatriates ready to learn more of the background to the frustrations and anger felt by those who thought that this democracy would be the realisation of years of hope, it provides insight.

    Dan Agbese, editor-in-chief of Newswatch magazine couldn’t agree more. Agbese, who was the moderator at the book presentation, had also edited Osundare’s column for the past 24 years and attested that the writer was indeed filled with a unique kind of rage that was surrounded with a bout of humour. “To me, he projects two charming personae. As a man, he is humorous but when he sits before his word processor, all traces of humour and laughter vanish because as a writer and social commentator, he is an angry man. Angry at a country that promises so much, yet delivers so little. Angry at our leaders, in khaki or agbada, for failing us and making a career and fortunes from our misfortunes,” he said.

    Agbese said the title of the book: Dialogue with My Country is like a cruel pun on the word ‘dialogue’ because columnists in Nigeria always seemed to be talking to themselves.  Agbese believes that Osundare’s choice of the book title was meant to be understood as a dialogue of the deaf because though Osundare had been talking for 24 years, nobody has been listening.
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  • Two Plays By Niyi Osundare ()
    In the first play, The Man who Walked Away, a principled and sensitive young man who has served a multi-national company for decades, is ‘retrenched’, with severe consequences for his self-respect and his family. In the second play, The Wedding Car, a corrupt businessman and politician exercises his ambition for his daughter to marry ostentatiously, though things do not go according to plan.

    About the Author

    Niyi Osundare

        Poet, dramatist, critic, essayist, and media columnist, Niyi Osundare has authored over ten volumes of poetry, two books of selected poems, four plays, a book of essays, and numerous articles on literature, language, culture, and society. He regards his calling as a writer and his profession as a teacher as essentially complementary.

        He was educated on three continents: B.A. (Honours) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, M.A. from the University of Leeds in England, and Ph.D. from York University, Toronto, Canada. The wide and varied exposure accruing from this has proved very useful for his writing and teaching careers. Born in Nigeria, one of the most linguistically and culturally heterogeneous countries in the world, he learnt early in life the complexities and challenges of diversity.

        He began his teaching career at the University of Ibadan in 1974 and rose to the position of full professor there in 1989. From 1993 to 1997, he was the chair of its Department of English. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990 to 1991, and in 1991/92, an associate professor of English at the University of New Orleans, where he returned as full professor in 1997, and was selected university research professor in 2001. His areas of specialization are African literature, literature of the African diaspora, literary stylistics, sociolinguistics, and creative writing
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