The eldest son of a primary-school headmaster and a devout Christian mother, Wole Soyinka lived a comfortable life in the Aké parsonage in Abeokuta. Ake: The Years of Childhood is author Wole Soyinka’s autobiographical account about events in his childhood between about and in the town of Ake. Wole Soyinka was a bright, curious child and his account of his early childhood in the town of Abeokuta in Western Nigeria is enchanting.

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A dazzling memoir of an African childhood souinka Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian novelist, playwright, and poet Wole Soyinka. When he was 4 years old, spurred by insatiable curiosity and the beat of a marching drum, Wole Soyinka slipped silently through the gate of his parents’ yard and followed a police band to a distant village. The parsonage wall had vanished forever but it no longer mattered.

He returned, perched upon the handlebars of a policeman’s bicycle, “markedly different from whatever I was before the march.

Nobel laureate Soyinka is a prolific playwright, poet, novelist, and critic, but seems to have found his purest voice as an autobiographer. The Years of Childhood is a memoir of stunning beauty, humor, and perception–a lyrical account of one boy’s attempt to grasp the often irrational and hypocritical world of adults that equally repels and seduces him.

Soyinka elevates brief anecdotes into history lessons, conversations into morality plays, memories into awakenings.

Christian teachings, the wisdom of the ogbonior ruling elders, and the power of ancestral spirits–who alternately terrify and inspire him–all carried equal metaphysical weight. Surrounded by such a collage, he notes that “God had a habit of either not answering one’s prayers at all, or answering them in a way that was not straightforward.

His stinging indictment of colonialism takes on added power owing to the elegance of his attack. He also spears Nigeria’s increasing Westernization, its movement toward modernity and materialism, as he describes his beloved village markets deteriorating from a “procession of magicians” to rows of “fantasy stores lit by neon and batteries of coloured bulbs” where the “blare of motor-horns compete with a high-decibel outpouring of rock and funk aoe punk and other thunk-thunk from lands of instant-culture heroes.

It locates the lost child in all of us, underneath language, inside sound and smell, wide-eyed, brave and flummoxed. Soyinka belongs in the company of. Pritchett, and Vladimir Nabokov. Would you wolr to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like akee suggest updates through seller support? Read more Read less. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids.


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Read reviews that mention wole soyinka a,e war wild christian nobel laureate tells the story colonial rule mother nicknamed wild white man colonial nigeria years of childhood young wole school wole good book read this book nigerian african child memories early father. Showing of 30 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Many words are split with a space where a line ended in the original book. Some words are lost entirely, as in this sentence almost sohinka the top of lt6ko straight in its pagan eye. Wole Soyanka is a Noble Prize winning Nigerian author. In this book he tells the story of his childhood. He grew up in the ‘s in Nigeria. His father was a teacher, his mother ran a shop and his extended family could be called middle class.

Through the eyes of this young boy, the reader glimpses a time and a place where Nigerian and British culture mixed. World War II is going on but it is glimpsed from afar. More pressing to the child is his day-to-day encounters with his parents and his teachers. The child’s voice is engaging and he has a fine sense of humor but I found the book hard to follow sometimes, getting the characters confused and incidents not really fleshed out enough for my taste.

However, it is a rare glimpse into a time and a place that is unique and is no more. I’m glad the author took the time and the trouble to share it with the world. Parts are slow and boring, but other parts are interesting.


More importantly this book gives a good glimpse into a completely different world and you learn a lot from parts of it! One person found this helpful. Book listed aks “very good”, but it was nowhere near. No highlighting or writing, but spine damaged, creases over cover, generally torn up. Dole was not “undamaged”. A more accurate description, by Amazon guidelines, would have been “acceptable” or at best, “good”. I found the book fascinating given that I already have some knowledge of the characters.

Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka

Wol was a real pleasure meeting Mrs Bere Ransome-Kuti in a setting different from the picture painted by the media. She and Eniola are truly an inspiration. Read it to enrich your soul. He is a fine writer and full of character and perceptions.

I love this Africa. I laughed at the antics Ake was guilty of because I experienced similar events with my American born and raised boys. Boys will be boys where ever they live.

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See all 30 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. The Years of Childhood. Set up woel giveaway. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.

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