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The Interpreters

Wole Soyinka

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“The novel is rich in well-turned individual scenes…. it is a work in which the esthetic and political problems are meshed in an almost classical way.”

—The New York Times

“It is elaborately, strikingly and indeed often beautifully written.”

—The Times



“A great steaming marsh of a novel…brimful of promise and life.”

—New Statesmen

From the first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—his debut novel about a group of young Nigerian intellectuals trying to come to grips with themselves and their changing country. First published in 1965.

They are the interpreters. Drawn together by their hopes, loves, dissatisfactions, and the daily lives and deaths around them, five young Nigerian intellectuals evoke a new lost and found generation. From their wild drinking bouts at the Club Cambana to their individual pursuits of personal and professional integrity, they simultaneously find themselves as seekers and prophets as they attempt to define their identity in a world where their cultural past and Western-influenced present are brought into conflict. The Interpreters combines the uniquely sensitive observations of the gifted Wole Soyinka with his trademark mad comedy. Now back in print, his debut novel is a book with universal relevance and irresistible appeal.