2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Autobiographical Influences and Connections to the Reader as Seen in Soyinka’s Childhood and Dangarembga’s Conditions
Elizabeth C. Raine
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Aké: The Years of Childhood (1981) by Wole Soyinka is a story published as an autobiography. Nervous Conditions (1988) by Tsitsi Dangarembga is a story with many semi-autobiographical references, yet Dangarembga chose to publish it as a novel. This paper will examine the decisions that each author made either in including or excluding certain parts of their life stories, as well as their decisions to publish the stories as autobiographies or as fiction. Soyinka's decision to publish Childhood as an autobiography enables the reader to feel certain emotions that are unable to be felt in Dangarembga's Conditions. This paper takes a deeper look at the creation of a story, with respect to Childhood and Conditions, and the decisions an author makes in order to classify it in a specific literary genre in order to help bare or conceal certain parts of the authors' lives.

Keywords: Soyinka, Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, Years of Childhood, autobiographical, literary genres, African


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 59-5
Location: VH 1428
Time: 3:45 pm

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