Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Other Essays/ by Adewale Maja-Pearce. [First print] The New Gong, Lagos, Nigeria: Printed in the United States by KingPrinting, Inc: Adibooks [distributor], 2005. 306 pages: 5.5 x 8.5 ins. ISBN 9783842102 (paperback). Non-fiction. Price: US$ 15; GBP 9; Euro 13.
See extracts from other writings by Adewale Maja-Pearce:
Adewale Maja-Pearce is the author of a number of books, including In My Father’s Country: A Nigerian Journey, Loyalties and Other Stories, How many miles to Babylon?, A Mask Dancing: Nigerian Novelists of the Eighties, and Who’s Afraid of Wole Soyinka? He has also edited The Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English and Wole Soyinka: An Appraisal. He was formerly editor of the Heinemann African Writers’ Series (1986- 94), and Africa editor of Index on Censorship (1986-97). He currently lives in Lagos, where he runs YEMAJA, an editorial services agency.
Ken Saro-Wiwa aroused powerful emotions in his life, and his death by hanging on the orders of General Sani Abacha shook the world. The sainthood of Saro-Wiwa has been promoted in much of the media, but some polemical voices assert that he was more sinner than saint. In the title essay of Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Other Essays, Adewale Maja-Pearce strikingly delves beyond the myths into the man in full, warts and all, portraying an ambitious protagonist who initially cultivated powerful friends in the military, in government and business but ended up tragically through judicial murder engendered by the fratricidal crossfire of the Ogoni struggle. Like its subject, controversy dogged every step of this book, and the publishing was nearly stopped as people took positions without reading a word of it. Now that the book is finally out the public is gifted with the pristine opportunity of dipping into the immense world of Maja- Pearce as he, in twenty-three heartfelt essays and reviews, illuminates the benighted mores of modern Nigeria, the identity question in South Africa, the evil politics from cape to coast of Africa, and the seminal minds across the world. This book is a treasure, a profound testament.