Prof’s Memoir

Another good review for Wole Soyinka’s memoir, You Must Set Forth At Dawn, this time from the Christian Science Monitor.

It was a time, Soyinka tells us, when “the gods were still only in a state of hibernation.” As the recipient of a Rockefeller fellowship, Soyinka was given the means to travel throughout Nigeria, studying traditional festivals and forms of drama. Soon, however, he tells us, political tyranny (along with increasing Westernization) began to threaten what he cherished about his homeland.

Most of this book, in fact, is about Soyinka’s struggle to preserve the land and culture that he loves. “You Must Set Forth at Dawn” does not so much tell the tale of Soyinka the playwright and Nobel laureate, or even that of Soyinka as the adult extension of the child in “Ak√©” (although the humor, charm, and curiosity of the young boy do recur throughout the narrative). Rather this is the story of Soyinka as a Nigerian, a descendent of the Yoruba people, an African, and a world citizen – a man for whom public events overshadow the private.

Read the rest of Marjorie Kehe’s review here.