The Palm-Wine Drinkard

The Palm-Wine Drinkard

"The Palm-Wine Drinkard" (subtitled "and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Dead's Town") is the novel that gained Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola acclaim in the West and criticism at home. The book was based on Yoruba folktales, but was largely his own invention using Pidgin English prose. It told the mythological story of a man who follows a palm wine tapster into the land of the dead or "Deads' Town." There he finds a world of magic, ghosts, demons, and supernatural beings. The book came out in 1952 and received accolades from Dylan Thomas as well as other Western intellectual figures of the time. However among many African intellectuals it caused controversy and received harsh criticism. In Nigeria, in particular, some feared the story showed their people in a negative light. Specifically, that it depicted a drunk, used Pidgin English, and promoted the idea Africans were superstitious. However Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe defended Tutuola's works stating the stories in it can also be read as moral tales commenting on Western consumerism.

External links

* [ Project Muse article]
* [ About Amos Tutuola and mentions it]
* [ Amos Tutuola biography that mentions it]
* [ Michael Swanwick discussing the book and Tutuola]

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