Literature

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  • You Find Him, I'll Fix Him By James Hadley Chase ()
    When your boss asks you to 'look after' his daughter during her stay in Rome, and when that daughter has a reputation for being fast, dangerous and beautiful, you play it cool - if you're smart. Ed Dawson, newspaper man, was smarter than most. But even he, in this instance, found it impossible to keep his fingers out of temptation's way. And from the moment he arrived in Sorrento to spend an illicit weekend with the girl in her secluded villa by the Mediterranean, Dawson was heading for trouble...

    Helen Chalmers had the kind of figure which could make a man do almost anything she wanted. So when she asked Ed Dawson to spend a month alone with her in a secluded Italian villa, he found himself accepting, even though it was against his better judgement.

    His judgement told him he was crazy, that involvement, with Helen would mean trouble as her father, apart from being one of the richest and most influential men in the world, was also his employer. He wouldn't take too kindly to his daughter being compromised by one of his employees. What Ed's judgement didn't tell him was that upon his arrival at the villa he would find Helen lying dead at the bottom of a cliff, and a strange man searching through the rooms with a flash light...

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  • The interpreters By Wole Soyinka ()
    The interpreters, written by Wole Soyinka in 1965, divided into two parts, is a social realism which major theme centres on the post-independence moral decadence that plagues the Nigerian society, up-till date, attempted to be solved by the Nigerians who had just returned from studies abroad. Each of the main characters is engaged in the enterprise of interpreting himself in relation to the society in which he lives, in an attempt to discover the right way to live. The narrative is, as a result, multi-stranded and employs a shifting, subjective time-scale, and in some aspects, the narrative situation used is figural, sometimes resulting in flashbacks; rendered with an intense use of language somewhat complex and metaphorical. The novel has its settings in Lagos and University of Ibadan. There is a range of character types in The Interpreters in that each of the main personae has an individual way of interpreting the world, though of course, due to their association with each other, there is a degree of commonality in some respects, both in the sense of shared experience and of quality of experience as intellectuals, though with some exceptions. However, their interpretations tilted towards the same thought stemming from shared experiences as intellectuals, except Kola. They bear the burden of the author’s worries and emphasis on indecision. They collectively and helplessly search for self-identity as a way out of the identity crisis and lack of moral stance.
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  • The Adventures of Souza By Kola Onadipe ()
    The Adventures of Souza: A rascally village boy goes hunting, enrolls in a secret cult, meets a magician and engages in other adventures. What were his experiences?

    The Late Kola Onadipe had a career both in education and business.

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  • Sugar Girl By Kola Onadipe ()
    Ralia is missing from home under mysterious and unfortunate circumstances. Therefore, sh goes through ordeals, one after the other: First in the hands of a wicked witch and then a hunter.

    Will she survive these ordeals and return home...... and under what circumstances?

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  • The Boy Slave By Kola Onadipe ()
    The Boy Slave. Shettima was born near the edge of the Sahara in 1865. He was captured by slavers and sold into a strange new life.
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  • Koku Baboni By Kola Onadipe ()
    Koku. one of a set of twins is customarily abandoned and left to perish. Is it right to do that? What about our "Human Rights" to live?

    Did he survive the ordeal, ........ and what was the result of his experience?

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  • The Return of The Boy Slave By Kola Onadipe ()
    The Return of the Boy Slave: In Kola Onadipe's book, The Boy Slave, Shettima grows up in slavery. This is the story of how, having won his freedom, he uses it to fight against the slave traders.
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  • More Deadly Than the Male by James Hadley Chase ()
    George Fraser is a lonely man, and a bored man. But he has exciting dreams. In his dreams, he lives in a thrilling world of gangsters, guns, fast cars and beautiful women. And of course, in his dreams, he is the toughest gangster of them all. George Fraser prefers his dream world to his real, ordinary life so he begins to boast about it, pretending that he is, in fact, a hardened and ruthless gangster. But George Fraser boasts to the wrong people and suddenly his dream world becomes all too real.
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  • Hand Me a Fig Leaf By James Hadley Chase ()
    When Johnny Jackson unaccountably disappears, his grandfather contacts the police for help. As they prove to be uninterested, he turns instead to Colonel Parnell of the Parnell Detective Agency. It seems at first to be a simple case of a missing person but they soon find themselves in the middle of a complicated web of deceit, intrigue and murder.
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  • I Hold the Four Aces By James Hadley Chase ()
    Helga Rolfe is blonde, beautiful, and bright enough to control her own multi-million pound empire. But not to control her secret weakness: sex. Former lover, Archer, knows it. He has an old score to settle with her and he needs cash. When handsome gigolo Christopher Greenville crosses his path, he's found the way to both.

    With Archer's coaching, Chris cons Helga into wanting him badly enough to propose marriage, and when Archer fakes Chris's kidnapping, she is ready to pay the huge ransom. But events take a frightening twist when the local Mafia join the action.

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  • Like A Hole In The Head by James Hadley Chase ()
    Ex-army musketry trainer, Jay Benson and his wife Lucy's dream of running a shooting school turns sour as the school heads towards certain closure. They need money - quickly, and a lot of it. At the eleventh hour Augusto Savanto, head of a vast corporation in Venezuela, walks into their lives with a proposition they can scarcely refuse - he will pay them $50,000 to turn his son into an expert marksman, in nine days. Desperate for money they accept the challenge but find themselves in a deadly game of ruthless vendettas and vengeful murder.
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  • Not My Thing by James Hadley Chase ()
    Sherman Jamison is rich, very rich. He has amassed millions and now wants someone to pass them on to, the next in the family line. But he has no heir as his wife has been unable to have children. Refusing to let this stand in his way, Jamison pleads for a divorce but his wife, a devout Catholic, refuses to give into his demands. If she will not agree, she will have to be removed. Jamison hires a professional killer to do the deed but this is only the beginning of a thrilling and electrifying story of revenge, betrayal and murder
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  • Not Safe to be Free by James Hadley Chase ()
    Murder isn't a very sociabe way of getting your kicks - but then, Jay Deaney was neve a very sociable sort of guy... He was young rich, attractive and bored. He needed excitement - and he meant to get it. For months he had waited - patiently cntroling the insane urge which nagged at his mind. And then he saw hera t a film festival in the South Of France - the blonde staret who was to provide him with the biggest thrill of his life... the girl he intended to murder
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  • Lotus For Miss Quon by James Hadley Chase ()
    When Steve Jaffe discovered two million dollars worth of diamonds hidden in the wall of his villa in Saigon, he had no intention of giving up the loot. All he had to do was organize an exit visa and leave, until his houseboy threatened to go to the police. Jaffe had only meant to stop him, but instead he finds himself a felon with murder on his hands. With little chance to keep his secret, Jaffe becomes a man on the run, and the only person he can trust is a beautiful woman who is prepared to do anything to save him.
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  • The Flesh Of The Orchid by James Hadley Chase ()
    James Hadley Chase (Rene Brabazon Raymond) was born in London in 1906 and started his career as a bookseller. With the aid of a dictionary of American slang and reference books on the American underworld he wrote his first novel, NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH, over six weekends. The book achieved remarkable popularity and became one of the best-sold books of the decade. FLESH OF THE ORCHID is a wild, thrill-ride of a sequel to NO ORCHIDS. Taking up the story 22 years later, the central figure is once again a Blandish girl, but Carol Blandish is not the helpless victim that her mother was. Indeed, she is a volatile blend of simmering sexuality, strained innocence and hair-trigger cruelty. Her explosive outbursts of savage violence make her a force to be reckoned with. Escaping from a mental institute during a raging storm, and definitely off her meds, Carol Blandish is soon pursued by a seedy cast of characters who all want a piece of the Blandish fortune. The novel bristles with crazy plot twists, edge-of-the-seat suspense and intriguing low-life's who mix it up for an immensely enjoyable read.
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  • Trusted Like The Fox by James Hadley Chase ()
    Two killers wanted her — one for protection and one for prey. One of them had slain a helpless man to hide the secret of his identity. And he was quite prepared to kill the girl if she tried to double-cross him. But he’d reckoned without that terrible accident — and he was totally unprepared for the insane murderer who made death a ritual with a silver-handled knife.
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  • Soft Centre by James Hadley Chase ()
    Val Burnett was the attractive daughter of a multi-millionaire. Her pleasantly organised life had been cruelly shattered when her husband, Chris, received severe brain injuries in a car crash. While convalescing in Florisa, Chris disappeared for twenty-four hours - leaving no message or trace of his whereabouts.

    During the same night an attractive blonde was found brutally murdered in a second-rate motel - her body hideously mutilated. But while the police were searching for the murderer, an unscrupulous private investigator discovered evidence that Chris was the monster responsible for the killing.

    Threatened with blackmail, but determined to prove her husband's innocence, Val set out to trace Chris's movements on the night of the murder and found herself on the trail of a maniac who didn't need a motive to kill again.

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  • The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works By William Shakespeare ()
    Hailed by The Washington Post as "a definitive synthesis of the best editions" and by The Times of London as "a monument to Shakespearean scholarship," The Oxford Shakespeare is the ultimate anthology of the Bard's work: the most authoritative edition of the plays and poems ever published.

    Now, almost two decades after the original volume, Oxford is proud to announce a thoroughly updated second edition, including for the first time the texts of The Reign of Edward III and Sir Thomas More, recognizing these two plays officially as authentic works by Shakespeare. This beautiful collection is the product of years of full-time research by a team of British and American scholars and represents the most thorough examination ever undertaken of the nature and authority of Shakespeare's work. The editors reconsidered every detail of the text in the light of modern scholarship and they thoroughly re-examined the earliest printed versions of the plays, firmly establishing the canon and chronological order of composition. All stage directions have been reconsidered in light of original staging, and many new directions for essential action have been added. This superb volume also features a brief introduction to each work as well as an illuminating General Introduction. Finally, the editors have added a wealth of secondary material, including an essay on language, a list of contemporary allusions to Shakespeare, an index of Shakespearean characters, a glossary, a consolidated bibliography, and an index of first lines of the Sonnets.

    Compiled by the world's leading authorities, packed with information, and attractively designed, The Oxford Shakespeare is the gold standard of Shakespearean anthologies.

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  • Daughters Who Walk This Path By Yejide Kilanko ()
    Spirited and intelligent, Morayo grows up surrounded by school friends and family in Ibadan. There is Eniayo, her adoring little sister—for whose sake their middle-class parents fight stigmatising superstition—and a large extended family of cousins and aunts who sometimes make Morayo’s home their own. A shameful secret forced upon her by Bros T, her cousin, thrusts Morayo into a web of oppressive silence woven by the adults around her. Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister as young women growing up in a complex and politically charged country.
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  • We Should All Be Feminists By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ()
    What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics.
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  • Understanding Power and Accomplishing Purpose By Deborah Belema Peterside ()
    Life becomes tough when you are faced with difficult circumstances, societal hindrances and the drive to fulfill your purpose on earth. Then it becomes difficult to understand the reason for your pain when placed on a scale with God’s word and the intent for your life. The question is, what do you do in those times?

    So, are you torn between the height you have attained and the dark secrets that keep threatening your light? Are you caught in a web of confusion with no idea why you are created? Are you struggling with the pain you feel as you strive to actualise your purpose in life? Have you tried everything possible to ensure you step out of the dark and let the world see your light? In Understanding Power and Accomplishing Purpose, Debby critically highlights those ups and downs using scriptural teachings with poetry 
    pari pasu life experiences of individuals shared in the book to explain how difficult - but easy – it is, actualising God’s purpose on earth.

    Understanding Power & Accomplishing Purpose is an eye opener to purpose in pain. Everyone seeking an explanation 
    to their pain and suffering should get a copy of this book.
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  • Early Soyinka By Bernth Lindfors ()
    Early Soyinka endeavors to reveal Wole Soyinka’s precocious talent as a writer of stories, dramas, essays, letters, humorous sketches and jokes, by presenting a collection of essays on writings by Soyinka composed prior to publication of his first books in 1963. The underlying argument in the book appears to be that Soyinka’s early works cannot be considered as “juvenilia or immature scribblings” for they already display a high command of language and acceptable formal structures.

    The introduction lays out the background of the book when Bernth Lindfors attempts to settle a score with Biodun Jeyifo and Soyinka. Lindfors first retells Jeyifo’s position in Wole Soyinka: Politics, Poetics and Postcolonialism (2004), in which the latter identified Lindfors as one “who, almost alone among students of Soyinka’s writings, has been obsessed with his literary juvenilia, hoping therein to find materials to prove Soyinka was once a rookie writer, a neophyte artist, even if his rise to fame seemed instantaneous and meteoric.” Then, Lindfors reveals Soyinka’s misunderstanding of his efforts to demonstrate that Soyinka’s earliest writings were not the “awkward fumblings of a neophyte artist but the handiwork of a skilled craftsman who could articulate original ideas with fluency, precision and persuasiveness.” Soyinka had apparently taken issue with Lindfors in his essay “The Critic and Society: Barthes, Leftocracy and Other Mythologies,” by branding the latter as a “hagiographer extraordinary, who re-creates my juvenilia, in the old University College of Ibadan; every page of his essay contains at least one inaccuracy of time and place and a series of absurd attributions.” Lindfors’ probable purpose in bringing out these two misinterpretations of his interest in that early expressive body of work is to show the reason why many critics have refrained from studying Soyinka’s writings prior to publication of A Dance of the Forests, The Lion and the Jewel, and Three Plays in 1963. By considering these first published works as the starting point for an exploration of Soyinka’s talent and personality, those critics have been “studying the growth of a tree without examining its roots.” Early Soyinka aims then at putting things right by studying the growth of Soyinka from a close examination of his roots.

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  • From Zia with Love By Wole Soyinka ()
    "Unquestionably Africa's most versatile writer and arguably one of her finest." (New York Times Book Review) When the Military decrees that a crime carrying a prison sentence now retroactively warrants summary execution, confusion and fear permeate a society where the brutality and injustice of military rule is parodied by life inside prison. Based on events in Nigeria in the early 1980s Wole Soyinka's stage play From Zia with Love and radio play A Scourge of Hyacinths, were produced in the early 90s when the writer was exiled by Sani Abacha's notorious and unjust military regime.
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  • Salutation to the Gut By Wole Soyinka ()
    Previously unpublished, Salutation to the Gut is an essay Soyinka wrote more than forty years ago. The essay is a celebration of Yoruba culture, in particular Yoruba food and gastronomic culture. Its witty and whimsical style foreshadows the kind of writing that would become Soyinka's hallmark, and for which he would subsequently win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
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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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  • ALAPATA APATA: A Play for Yorubafonia, Class for Xenophiles By Wole Soyinka ()
    After an exceptionally successful career as a butcher; Alaba, the protagonist of this play decided that he deserves a life of quite retirement. Unfortunately beneath the rock on which he has chosen to make his abode are precious mineral deposits. Soon, both Alaba and the rock become a place of more than passing interest to everyone – from the lowly, to denizens of power: The outcome of this rollicking drama is more than anyone, least of all, Alaba himself, bargained for:

    Wole Soyinka’s latest play, is a powerful satire of the idiosyncrasies and excesses of our contemporary Nigeria society; the corruption of power; opportunism and cultural alienation.
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  • The Deceptive Silence of Stolen Voices By Wole Soyinka ()
    Nigeria as a country is bedevilled by myriads of paradoxes. These unite to dwarf its stature and hence there have been popular calls for a National Conference. Yet the powers-that-be oppose its convening with overt recalcitrance prompting Soyinka at Emeka Anyaoku's 70'" Birthday to articulate his position once again and ask "Will the National Conference open up a Pandora's Box?"
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  • Death and the King's Horseman By Wole Soyinka ()
    Death and the King's Horseman is a play by Wole Soyinka based on a real incident that took place in Nigeria during British colonial rule: the ritual suicide of the horseman of an important chief was prevented by the intervention of the colonial authorities. In addition to the British intervention, Soyinka calls the horseman's own conviction toward suicide into question, posing a problem that throws off the community's balance.
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  • Bomboy By Yewande Omotosho ()

    BOMBOY is a story about Leke, a troubled young man living in the suburbs of Cape Town. He develops strange habits of stalking people, stealing small objects and going from doctor to doctor in search of companionship rather than cure. Through a series of letters written to him by his Nigerian father whom he has never met, Leke learns about a family curse; a curse which his father had unsuccessfully tried to remove. BomBoy is a well-crafted, and complex narrative written with a sensitive understanding of both the smallness and magnitude of a single life.

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  • The Lion and the Jewel By Wole Soyinka ()
    The Lion and the Jewel is a play by Wole Soyinka first performed in 1959. It chronicles how Baroka, the lion, fights with the modern Lakunle over the right to marry Sidi, the titular Jewel. Lakunle is portrayed as the civilized antithesis of Baroka and unilaterally attempts to modernize his community and change its social conventions for no reason other than the fact that he can. The transcript of the play was first published in 1962 by Oxford University Press. Soyinka emphasises the theme of the corrupted African culture through the play as well as how the youth should embrace the original African culture.
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  • The Strong Breed By Wole Soyinka ()
    The Strong Breed is one of the best known plays by Wole Soyinka. It is a tragedy that ends with an individual sacrifice for the sake of the communal benefit. The play is centered on the tradition of egungun, a Yoruba festival tradition in which a scapegoat of the village carries out the evil of the community and is exiled from the civilization. Eman, the play's protagonist, takes on the role of "carrier", knowing it will result in beating and exile. He does this to spare a young simpleton the same fate. The ritual takes an unexpected turn as Eman flees. His pursuers set a trap for him that results in his death.
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  • The Jero Plays By Wole Soyinka ()
    The Jero Plays by Wole Soyinka consist of two short plays re-released as a collection in 1973. The Trials of Brother Jero first came out in 1964, while Jero’s Metamorphosis was published two years later in 1966. Both plays satirize Christianity and religious hypocrisy, particularly, the unquestioning devotion that many converts display towards their spiritual leaders, often exposing themselves to manipulation in the process.

    As the title suggests, The Trials of Brother Jero is about a charlatan preacher, Brother Jero.  Brother Jero is a cunning beach diviner who woos customers (penitents) to his church by using Christian superstition for his own salvation. For him, the church is a business. He says:

     ‘I am glad I got here before any customers-I mean worshipers..  l always get a feeling every morning that am a shopkeeper waiting for customers.’

    Brother Jero is suave while his followers are gullible. He lures people to his church by promising them material gains and promotions through prayer. Chume his assistant often seeks for permission to beat his arrogant wife Amope but Brother Jero disagrees:

    ‘ I keep my followers dissatisfied because if they are satisfied, they won’t come again..’

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  • Mandela's Earth and Other Poems By Wole Soyinka ()
    This was Soyinka's first collection of poems after winning the Noble prize in literature in 1986 and it is like a political collection as well as a poetic work.
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  • Outrage By Ogochukwu Promise ()
    Outrage is a story of struggle; the conflicts which have become associated with the exploration of oil in the Niger Delta are carefully blended with a love story, that of Boma and Sekibo, a factional leader of the Niger Delta militants. Boma is torn between her love for Sekibo and her loyalty to Reverend Tabore, her aunty and guardian, who is a government stooge. The constant conflicts in the story spring up from the clashes between the various militant factions, the differences between the militants and the government, and the dilemma of choosing between love and family ties.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
    Ogochukwu PROMISE (fiction writer, poet, essayist, playwright; Nigeria) is the founder and coordinator of the Lumina Foundation which instituted the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa; she also initiated the Get Africa Reading Project and runs a mobile library. Ogochukwu edits and publishes the literary magazine The Lumina, and the magazine Children's Classic. An author of 16 novels, six collections of poetry, two short story collections, four plays, two essay collections, thirty children's books, and editor of four literary collections, she has received seven Association of Nigerian Authors awards for her poetry and fiction. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
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  • Poem Of Black Africa By Wole Soyinka ()
    Poems of Black Africa is a poetry anthology edited by Wole Soyinka, and published in 1975 (see 1975 in poetry) as part of the Heinemann African Writers Series. It was arranged by theme.
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  • The Burden of Memory By Wole Soyinka ()
    When Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka's The Open Sore of a Continent appeared in 1996, it received rave reviews in the national media. Now comes Soyinka's powerful sequel to that fearless and passionate book, The Burden of Memory. Where Open Sore offered a critique of African nationhood and a searing indictment of the Nigerian military and its repression of human and civil rights, The Burden of Memory considers all of Africa--indeed, all the world--as it poses the next logical question: Once repression stops, is reconciliation between oppressor and victim possible? In the face of centuries long devastations wrought on the African continent and her Diaspora by slavery, colonialism, Apartheid and the manifold faces of racism what form of recompense could possibly be adequate? In a voice as eloquent and humane as it is forceful, Soyinka examines this fundamental question as he illuminates the principle duty and "near intolerable burden" of memory to bear the record of injustice. In so doing, he challenges notions of simple forgiveness, of confession and absolution, as strategies for social healing. Ultimately, he turns to art--poetry, music, painting--as one source that may nourish the seed of reconciliation, art as the generous vessel that can hold together the burden of memory and the hope of forgiveness. Based on Soyinka's Stewart-McMillan lectures delivered at the Du Bois Institute at Harvard, The Burden of Memory speaks not only to those concerned specifically with African politics, but also to anyone seeking the path to social justice through some of history's most inhospitable terrain.
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  • The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka By Wole Soyinka ()
    A savage, stabbing inquiry, not into human nature proper, but into human nature viewed through the concave mirrors of solitary confinement and human evil, stretched and warped into horrible familiarity. Soyinka is hard to read, if you read him straight -- this book is most effective when you enter into its twisting, doubling corridors and let Soyinka transform your mind and introspection into a prison of your own. Like most great books, this one works on several levels: an indictment of political injustice, a pyschological study of the prisoner, and (pardon the cliche) a metaphor for the human condition. Brilliant and haunting.

    During the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970) Wole Soyinka was arrested and incarcerated for twenty-two months, most of it spent in solitary confinement in a cell, 4ft by 8ft. His offence: assisting the Biafran secessionists.

    The Man Died, now regarded as a classic of prison literature, is a product of this experience. What comes through in the compelling narrative is the author's uncompromising, principled stand on the universality and indivisibility of freedom and human rights.

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