The Nobel Prize–winning Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka is set to publish his first novel in almost five decades, the Guardian reports.
Soyinka’s Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth will be published in his home country later this year. The Nigerian newspaper Vanguard reports that it will be released worldwide in 2021, but offered no other details about the schedule.
Bookcraft, Soyinka’s Nigerian publisher, told the Guardian, “This novel has got everything—friendship and betrayal; faith and treachery; hope and cynicism; murder, mayhem and no shortage of drama, all set against the backdrop of contemporary Nigeria. As you would expect from a Soyinka work, it’s got plenty of colorful characters, profound insights, witty commentary, and the most elegant language.”
Soyinka is best known as a playwright, poet and author of nonfiction. His books have included Art, Dialogue and Outrage, Climate of Fear and You Must Set Forth at Dawn. His first novel, The Interpreters, was published in 1965; a second, Season of Anomy, followed eight years later.
In an interview with writer Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Soyinka said that being forced to quarantine because of the Covid-19 pandemic helped him concentrate on writing.
“You just find yourself literally rolling from your desk to your bed to the dining table, back to the desk for five months of continuous writing,” he said.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.