In The Shadow Of A Saint

In The Shadow Of A Saint

4.01 (83 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

My father. That's what this is all about. Where does he end and where do I begin?' Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed in November 1995. One of that country's best loved writers and an outspoken critic of military rule, he was a prime mover in bringing the human rights abuses of Shell Oil and the Nigerian Military to the attention of the world. His death was headline news internationally. The name of Ken Saro-Wiwa became a potent symbol of the struggle between a traditional way of life and the juggernaut of global commercial interests. What was it like to grow up with such a politically active and socially conscious father? How do you come to terms with your father's life, his imprisonment and execution? How do you cope with the endless international press speculation about your father's life and character? And how do you respond when international attention is focused on you? How do you make your own way in life against your father's expectations of you, especially when you carry the same name? How do you live with such a complex personal history? This frank and memorable depiction of Ken Wiwa's childhood and relationship with his father vividly recounts the journey he took to answer those questions. Ultimately though, it is the story of how Ken Wiwa went looking for his father and ended up finding himself.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 18mm | 221g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552777137
  • 9780552777131

Review quote

"'The problems of growing up with a famous parent are well documented - celebrity addiction clinics are full of those offspring unable to live in a long shadow. But what if your father is considered a saint? How do you cope with his legacy, when you can only see his flaws? How do you separate yourself from him, if you share his very name? It has taken five years, and the shared experiences of the children of other freedom fighters for Ken Wiwa, as he is now known, to come to terms with his father's legac - and to work out how to live in his shadow. His struggle, and theirs, are revealed in this book..."Telling stories is important in the Ogoni culture. The whole point is to counter death. In story-telling, I've been able to confront my father's death and to transcend it, to take something positive from it."...' " -- Jojo Moyes * Independent * "'Ken Wiwa does not spare himself in this story. He reveals self-truths he is not proud of. You feel for him. You feel for his father. His elegantly written book is a weave of Nigerian family history, both turbulent, both tragic, neither without hope. The book is also a song of the Ogoni people, a tribute to their struggle, their endurance. It is, moreover, a story of being trapped in history; the children of heroes find their lives shaped by their parents...' " -- Sandra Jordan * Observer *show more

About Ken Wiwa

Born in Nigeria and educated in England, Ken Wiwa now contributes regularly to UK newspapers including the Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. Internationally his journalism has appeared in Canada, South Africa, Holland, Germany and Spain and in a weekly column for Vanguard in Nigeria. Ken was also internet editor for the Guardian for nearly two years. He currently lives in Canada with his family and is senior resident writer at Massey College in the University of Toronto.show more

Rating details

83 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 28% (23)
4 48% (40)
3 22% (18)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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