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Tutuola, Amos

MICHELLE LYNN BROWN

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Extract

Amos Tutuola was a novelist and short-story writer, born in 1920 in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He was the first Nigerian writer to publish a full-length fictional Anglophone work in London and to garner international acclaim. Tutuola died in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1997. He is best known for his artistic style of combining Yoruba oral legend, mythology, and the supernatural in epic form. Tutuola introduced Yoruba mytho-narrative traditions into mainstream Anglophone Nigerian literature, an important innovation because oral narrative conventions were not previously endemic to published genres. A majority of Tutuola's novels and stories are framed as episodic hero or heroine quests that involve some help from or travel within supernatural realms. His heroes and heroines face ogres, monsters, tricksters, and spirits, often while executing fantastical feats of strength and bravery. Tutuola's use of these and other oral conventions in form, language, and content throughout his opus are intentional. He considered himself a lover of stories – both as a listener who, he said, “always liked to listen to the old people in my village when they were telling short stories in the night” and as a storyteller intent on preserving and sharing his community's narrative traditions ( Lindfors 1970 ). Tutuola's writing was influenced by David O. Fágúnwà, who first published full-length folklore narratives in Yoruba ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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