Wole Soyinka

Nigerian playwright, poet and novelist.

13/07/1934 -

Wole Soyinka biography and information

Wole Soyinka is one of Africa's most important voices and became Africa's first laureate in 1986 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

An outspoken critic of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, Wole is no stranger to political commentary and activism, having spent most of his life in exile, he even spent time in prison during the Biafran War. Needless to say much of Wole's work draws upon his experience whilst incarcerated, however, as well as his politics, Nigeria undoubtedly plays an integral role in the genetic make-up of Wole's world, he also draws from elements of Greek tragedy and Japanese theatrical traditions.

He has periodically been visiting professor at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Yale.

Book and writing awards

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award 1983 (Ake: The Years of Childhood; Nobel Prize for Literature 1986; Agip Prize for Literature 1986; Benson Medal from the Royal Society of Literature 1990; Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.

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