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Portrait of an author: Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet and political activist

Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka

Nigerian playwright, poet, political activist

Last published play: Alapata Apata (Bookcraft, 2011)

The price seemed reasonable, location

Indifferent. The landlady swore she lived

Off premises. Nothing remained

But self-confession. “Madam" , I warned,

“I hate a wasted journey—I am African."

Silence. Silenced transmission of pressurized good-breeding. Voice, when it came,

Lipstick coated, long gold-rolled

Cigarette-holder pipped. Caught I was, foully.

“HOW DARK?"...I had not misheard.... “ARE YOU LIGHT OR VERY DARK?"

—Excerpted from Telephone Conversation, 1963

A 12-part series of portraits selected for Lounge by Rohit Chawla, who has photographed over 200 authors at the Jaipur Literature Festival over a decade.

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