The Open Sore of a Continent

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

3.96 (59 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$30.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

This is an exploration into the history and future of Nigeria. In the process of elucidating the Nigerian crisis, the author opens readers to the broader questions of nationhood, identity, and the general state of African culture and politics at the end of the 20th 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. The book concludes with a call for the global community to 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

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 144 x 210 x 20mm | 358.34g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195105575
  • 9780195105575

Review Text

Nobelist Soyinka (Art, Dialogue, and Outrage, 1994; Ake, 1982; etc.) takes on the despotic regime of his native Nigeria in this series of scathing jeremiads. From its first days of nationhood, Nigeria has been plagued by an almost endless succession of violence, spectacular corruption (over $12 billion in oil revenues from the Gulf War just disappeared), and ethnic rivalries. The latest round of troubles began in June 1993, when national elections were voided by a repressive military coup. Soyinka himself went into exile, where he has served as a strong and constant protesting voice (even if, as he admits, he failed to vote in the elections). But the world took little note until the recent trumped up trial and hasty execution of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight other activists. But despite forceful protests and threats by other countries, the tacit fact is that Africa has been left to the Africans. Any solutions will have to be homegrown. So as Soyinka traces the roots of what went wrong in 1993, he also meditates on the meaning of nationalism and nationhood. This is a vital issue for a country as divided as Nigeria, its arbitrary borders enclosing innumerable tribes as well as three major religions. Soyinka's vague, half-hearted solution is what he calls an ethical "remapping." This is to be accomplished by a series of regional conferences in troubled parts of the globe like Nigeria. As Soyinka notes: "The history of many nations is so flawed that it screams constantly for redress." But as Canada has shown, even reasoned, ethical attempts at redress have proven difficult, although at least not fratricidal. Unfortunately, Soyinka's righteous, angry words are unevenly delivered. Often awkward, even strained, his prose has a rushed journalistic feel to it, certainly a far cry from the polish he displays as a playwright and memoirist. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Wole Soyinka

About the Author: 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, Massachusetts. 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)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X