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14+ Works 1,554 Members 38 Reviews 13 Favorited

About the Author

Amos Tutuola was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He received his elementary education at a Salvation Army school and has lived mostly at Ibadan, where he was for a long time a messenger. His highly controversial reputation as a writer is based on his unique style, a type of pidgin English. Tutuola's show more most popular work so far is his romance, The Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952), an extremely imaginative tall tale drawn from Yoruba legends and myths about a journey into the land of the dead. Despite the controversy surrounding Tutuola's "wrong" use of English, his historical significance as a writer cannot be disputed. Among the first black African writers to be published and win some degree of international recognition, he was also the first writer to see the possibilities of translating African mythology into English in an imaginative way. For all the controversy, Tutuola is highly popular and his books have been translated into many languages. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Amos Tutuola

Associated Works

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (2011) — Contributor — 813 copies
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 152 copies
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (2020) — Contributor — 108 copies
Under African Skies: Modern African Stories (1997) — Contributor — 92 copies
Elsewhere, Vol. III (1984) — Contributor — 91 copies
An African Treasury (1960) — Contributor — 68 copies
ODD? (2011) — Contributor — 22 copies
African Voices (1958) — Contributor — 15 copies
Critical Perspectives on Amos Tutuola (1975) — Subject — 5 copies
Amos Tutuola Revisited (1999) — Subject — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Date of death
Abeokuta, Nigeria
Place of death
Ibadan, Nigeria
Places of residence
Abeokuta, Nigeria (birth)
Nigerian Royal Air Force



Similar to The Palm Wine Drunkard by the same author in form and yet still totally unique in content. A constant stream of strange out of the blue things happening and yet it doesn't feel "random" - there's a rhythm and progression and connections everywhere. It feels almost like a travelogue of sorts of the world of the supernatural. The first half it feels absolutely wondrous and amazing, completely fresh and captivating, but by the end I was glad it wasn't too long - it's a beautiful trip but the succession of fantastical events gets a bit overwhelming eventually. Still something I'd absolutely recommend to anyone as something completely unlike most "classic" literature yet with an incredible command of language that I feel would reward rereadings and deep study.… (more)
tombomp | 6 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
This is such a *fun* book, and totally unlike anything else I've ever read. The folk tale origins are pretty recognisable but even then it's told in a style that's very unlike how you'd expect folk tales to be told, at least in English. The style is very matter of fact about absolutely everything. It's funny reading 2 paragraph about how he and his wife organised a ferry service using magic with exact details of the money they made and how they needed it for buying food (when of course there's no mention of them needing food on their wide ranging travels otherwise)... and then 2 pages later they just lose it all having used it for nothing. The disconnect between the matter of fact fantasy and the out of place real life details, particularly those connected to British colonial administration, makes the latter seem absurd and unreal in a way the strange supernatural isn't. It's incredibly hard to convey what's so magical about the experience of reading it because so much of it is bound up in the way it uses the language and how masterful the author's command of it is even though it's deceptively simple. The "plot" is absurd, everything that happens is absurd, and it's beautiful. Special shout out to the image of meeting hundreds of dead babies on the road who beat you with sticks.… (more)
tombomp | 16 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
All kinds of awesome.

The unnamed protagonist meanders through a fabulous mosaic of folk tales. Reminds me of books like the Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (1890), The Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) has that same delightful lack of self-consciousness and weird, rambly lack of adherence to more conventional and more modern writing traditions.
1 vote
Black_samvara | 16 other reviews | Aug 9, 2023 |
a waking-dream inspiring dread like nothing else i've ever read
1 vote
aleph-beth-null | 9 other reviews | Mar 2, 2023 |



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