The Palm-Wine Drinkard
When Amos Tutuola’s first novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, appeared in 1952, it aroused exceptional worldwide interest. Drawing on the West African (Nigeria) Yoruba oral folktale tradition, Tutuola described the odyssey of a devoted palm-wine drinker through a nightmare of fantastic adventure. Since then, The Palm-Wine Drinkard has been translated into more than 15 languages and has come to be regarded as a masterwork of one of Africa’s most influential writers.
A Nigerian folktale of Tutuola’s own invention, written in Pidgin English. Like any good folktale, it has the sense that anything can happen; but it improves on the usual model with its particularly easy air of being completely out of control.
The Palm-Wine Drinkard is weird surrealistic fantasy stuff, but very compelling and an addictive joy. It must have made an enormous impact in the 1950s!