Prof. Wole Soyinka at the presentation of his new book. Photo by Ayodele Efunla

By Taiwo Okanlawon

Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has formally launched his new novel, titled: Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth.

The book which launching at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, is coming 48 years after his two works – The Interpreters (1965) and Season of Anomy (1973).

The novel is published by Bookcraft Publishing, Ibadan.

Speaking at the book presentation, Soyinka explained why he returned to prose and how long it took him to complete the book.

Wole Soyinka at Terra Kulture

In his words, “Some themes demand a greater expository approach.”

“ So I returned to prose,” he added.

Speaking about the time frame working on the book, he said “Regarding the theme itself, the answer to that will be forever in terms of deciding.

”But in reality, when I have to start putting something down,  I will say for two years.“

When asked if he would like the work to be seen as fiction, he said: “I’m going to leave that to the readers to take whatever they want out of it.”

Asked how long it took him to write the novel, the Nobel Laureate said it took him forever, adding that writing the book was a problem he dealt with for many years. And he had to escape twice, first to Senegal and then to Ghana before he could concentrate on the book. And he actually spent about two years to write it.

“I just could not concentrate sufficiently within these borders,” he maintained.