The Open Sore of a Continent
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The Open Sore of a Continent : A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis

3.96 (59 ratings by Goodreads)
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On November 10, 1995, the Nigerian military government under General Sani Abacha executed dissident writer Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight other activists, and the international community reacted with outrage. The response was quick, decisive, and nearly unanimous: Nigeria is an outcast in the global village. The events that led up to Saro-Wiwa's execution mark Nigeria's decline from a post-colonial success story to its current military dictatorship, and few writers have been more outspoken in decrying and lamenting this decline than Nobel Prize laureate and Nigerian exile Wole Soyinka. In The Open Sore of a Continent, Soyinka, whose own Nigerian passport was confiscated 1994, explores the history and future of Nigeria in a compelling jeremiad that is as intense as it is provocative, learned, and wide-ranging. He deftly explains the shifting dramatis personae of Nigerian history and politics , arguing that 'a glance at the mildewed tapestry of the stubbornly unfinished nation edifice' is necessary to explain where Nigeria can go next. In the process of elucidating the Nigerian crisis, Soyinka opens readers to the broader questions of nationhood, identity, and the general state of African culture and politics at the end of the twentieth century. He examines the different ways in which a nation can be defined, and asks how these varying definitions impact the people who live under them? Soyinka concludes with a resounding call for international attention to this question: the global community must address the issue of nationhood to prevent further religious mandates and calls for ethnic purity of the sort that have turned Algeria, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Sri Lanka into killing fields.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 134.62 x 198.12 x 10.16mm | 90.72g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0195119215
  • 9780195119213
  • 1,006,725

Review quote

a bold and stimulating book ... required reading for anyone who wishes to examine critically the present turmoil in Africa. * Financial Times * a great work by a great writer on the grave travails of a potentially great nation * Moffat Ekoriko, The Observer *show more

About Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka, an internationally acclaimed playwright, essayist, and memoirist, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. In exile from his Nigerian homeland, Soyinka divides his time between London and Cambridge, Massachussetts. He is the author of Collected Plays, Dance of the Forests, The Lion and the Jewel, The Road, Kongi's Harvest, and Three Short Plays (all OUP).show more

Rating details

59 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 27% (16)
4 47% (28)
3 22% (13)
2 2% (1)
1 2% (1)
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