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Ken Saro-Wiwa: Writer and Political Activist

Craig McLuckie and Aubrey McPhail, editors
ISBN: 978-0-89410-883-9
1999/292 pages/LC: 99-31267

"The editors have done an outstanding job of bringing together first-rate minds to cover the multiple dimensions of Saro-Wiwa's writing and political career.... The bibliography is extensive and impressive.... This is probably the most comprehensive book to date analyzing Saro-Wiwa's creativity."—Toyin Falola, Canadian Journal of African Studies

"A fitting tribute to a writer of great versatility and a political activist of exceptional courage."—Mpalive-Hangson Msiska, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"This work constitutes an important resource for those interested in Saro-Wiwa and Nigerian Politics."—Morawedun Adejunmobi, Journal of Modern African Studies

"The McLuckie-McPhail volume [strikes] ... the right balance between honoring the man and criticizing his patent excesses. The detailed bibliography, careful organization of essays, and diversity of information in this volume also make it an outstanding contribution to Africa literary studies, the best resource on Saro-Wiwa to date."—Christopher Wise, Research in African Literatures


The shocking execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa at the hands of the Nigerian government in 1995 stirred new interest in the many facets of his life—as novelist and short story writer, radio and television personality, publisher and entrepreneur, political and environmental activist. This interdisciplinary collection critically assesses Saro-Wiwa’s exceptional life and work from a range of fresh perspectives.

The authors examine Saro-Wiwa’s literary output both in terms of literary criticism and within a political framework. They give equal attention to his more public roles, including public reaction within Nigeria to his work. A comprehensive, annotated bibliography of print and electronic resources on Saro-Wiwa is an indispensable feature of the book.


Craig W. McLuckie is professor of English at Okanagan University College in British Columbia. He is author of Nigerian Civil War Literature and co-editor of Critical Perspectives on Dennis Brutus. Aubrey McPhail is in the English Department at the College of the Rockies.


  • Ken Saro-Wiwa, Or "The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger"—C. Lock.
  • A Political Assessment: Genocide in Nigeria: The Ogoni Tragedy—J. McLaren.
  • Literary Memoirs and Diaries: Soyinka, Amadi, and Saro-Wiwa—C.W. McLuckie.
  • The Poetry: Songs in a Time of WarT. Ojaide.
  • The Short-Fiction: A Forest of Flowers and Adaku and Other Stories—A. McPhail.
  • The Novel: Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English—M.N. Eke.
  • Pipe Dreams: Ken Saro-Wiwa, Environmental Justice, and Micro-Minority Rights—R. Nixon.
  • "Buried Beneath Six Feet of Crude Oil": State-Sponsored Death and the Absent Body of Ken Saro-Wiwa—M.L. Bastian.
  • Saro-Wiwa the Publisher—L. Neame.
  • The Children's Series—J. Le Blanc
  • Dream of Sologa, Eneka, and The Supreme Commander: The Theater of Ken Saro-Wiwa—C. Dunton.
  • "From This Hurt to the Unquestioning World": Seven Poems from Delta Blues.