0394528077 Item in acceptable condition including possible liquid damage. As well, answers may be filled in. Lastly, may be missing components, e.g. missing DVDs, CDs, Access Code, etc. Bookseller Inventory #
A dazzling memoir of an African childhood from Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian novelist, playwright, and poet Wole Soyinka.
Aké: The Years of Childhood gives us the story of Soyinka's boyhood before and during World War II in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria called Aké. A relentlessly curious child who loved books and getting into trouble, Soyinka grew up on a parsonage compound, raised by Christian parents and by a grandfather who introduced him to Yoruba spiritual traditions. His vivid evocation of the colorful sights, sounds, and aromas of the world that shaped him is both lyrically beautiful and laced with humor and the sheer delight of a child's-eye view. A classic of African autobiography, Aké is also a transcendantly timeless portrait of the mysteries of childhood.
Review: When he was 4 years old, spurred by insatiable curiosity and the beat of a marching drum, Wole Soyinka slipped silently through the gate of his parents' yard and followed a police band to a distant village. This was his first journey beyond Aké, Nigeria, and reading his account is akin to witnessing a child's epiphany:
The parsonage wall had vanished forever but it no longer mattered. Those token bits and pieces of Aké which had entered our home on occasions, or which gave off hints of their nature in those Sunday encounters at church, were beginning to emerge in their proper shapes and sizes.
He returned, perched upon the handlebars of a policeman's bicycle, "markedly different from whatever I was before the march." The reader's horizons feel similarly expanded after finishing this astonishing book.
Nobel laureate Soyinka is a prolific playwright, poet, novelist, and critic, but seems to have found his purest voice as an autobiographer. Aké: The Years of Childhood is a memoir of stunning beauty, humor, and perception--a lyrical account of one boy's attempt to grasp the often irrational and hypocritical world of adults that equally repels and seduces him. Soyinka elevates brief anecdotes into history lessons, conversations into morality plays, memories into awakenings. Various cultures, religions, and languages mingled freely in the Aké of his youth, fostering endless contradictions and personalized hybrids, particularly when it comes to religion. Christian teachings, the wisdom of the ogboni, or ruling elders, and the power of ancestral spirits--who alternately terrify and inspire him--all carried equal metaphysical weight. Surrounded by such a collage, he notes that "God had a habit of either not answering one's prayers at all, or answering them in a way that was not straightforward."
In writing from a child's perspective, Soyinka expresses youthful idealism and unfiltered honesty while escaping the adult snares of cynicism and intolerance. His stinging indictment of colonialism takes on added power owing to the elegance of his attack. He also spears Nigeria's increasing Westernization, its movement toward modernity and materialism, as he describes his beloved village markets deteriorating from a "procession of magicians" to rows of "fantasy stores lit by neon and batteries of coloured bulbs" where the "blare of motor-horns compete with a high-decibel outpouring of rock and funk and punk and other thunk-thunk from lands of instant-culture heroes."
The book closes with an 11-year-old Soyinka preparing to enroll in a government college, declaring it "time to commence the mental shifts for admittance to yet another irrational world of adults and their discipline." Aké is an eloquent testament to the wisdom of youth. --Shawn Carkonen
Title: Ake: Years of Childhood
Publisher: Random House
Book Condition: Fair
Book Description Random House, 1981. Book Condition: Fair. New Ed. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP3955848
Book Description Random House, 1981. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP8494528
Book Description Random House, 1981. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP2601783
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2786576681
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0394528077I3N10
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Bookseller Inventory # G0394528077I3N00
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0394528077I3N00
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0394528077I5N00
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. 0394528077 1st edition, 3rd printing. Good to Fair, ex-library markings, hardcover binding with dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # SKU20151240
Book Description Random House, 1982. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0394528077