The novel Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth, Wole Soyinka’s lockdown-era take on religion’s excess, is set for launch outside the writer’s home country.
Chronicles was first presented in book reading soirees in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, in December 2020.
At the Lagos event, held at TerraKulture, a long queue of men and women, face masks on, clutched the 12,500Naira priced, hard cover copies of the book, Soyinka’s third novel in 60 years of publishing, and only his third novel in over 40 years, to get autographs signed by the author.
Much to Doctor Menka’s horror, some cunning entrepreneur has decided to sell body parts from his hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Already at the end of his tether from the horrors he routinely sees in surgery, he shares this latest development with his oldest college friend, bon viveur, star engineer and Yoruba royal, Duyole Pitan-Payne, who has never before met a puzzle he couldn’t solve. Neither realise how close the enemy is, nor how powerful.
Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is at once a savagely witty whodunit, a scathing indictment of Nigeria’s political elite, and a provocative call to arms from one of the country’s most relentless political activists and an international literary giant.