Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’s Saga by D.O. Fagunwa, Wole Soyinka (Translation)

Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’s Saga by D.O. Fagunwa, Wole Soyinka (Translation)

A classic work of African literature, Forest of a Thousand Daemons is the first novel to be written in the Yoruba language. First published in Nigeria in 1939, it is one of that country’s most revered and widely read works, and its influence on Nigerian literature is profound, most notably in the works of Amos Tutuola.

A triumph of the mythic imagination, the narrative unfolds in a landscape where, true to Yoruba cosmology, human, natural, and supernatural beings are compellingly and wonderfully alive at once: a world of warriors, sages and kings; magical trees and snake people; spirits, Ghommids, and bog-trolls. Here are the adventures of Akara-ogun—son of a brave warrior and wicked witch—as he journeys into the forest, encountering and dealing with all-too-real unforeseen forces, engaging in dynamic spiritual and moral relationships with personifications of his fate, projections of the terrors that haunt man.

Distinguished Nobel Prize–winning author Wole Soyinka offers a supple and elegant translation and provides an essay on the special challenges of translating Fagunwa from the Yoruba into English, along with a glossary of Yoruba and unfamiliar words.

With illustrations by acclaimed Nigerian printmaker Bruce Onobrakpeya.

Daniel Orowole Fagunwa was born in western Nigeria in 1903. He died in a motorcycle accident in 1963.

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