Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Palm-Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

by Amos Tutuola Introduction by Michael Thelwell
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 320
  • Publication Date January 01, 1994
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3363-2
  • Dimensions 5.38" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00

About The Book

Since its first publication in 1952, The Palm-Wine Drinkard has come to be regarded as the masterwork of one of Africa’s best and most influential writers. Drawing on the Yoruba oral folktale tradition, and embellishing his story with strong mythical and psychological implications, Tutuola describes the odyssey of a devoted palm-wine drinkard through a nightmare of fantastic adventure.

In My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, the charm of his distinctive English blends with Nigerian Amos Tutuola’s extraordinary imagination and the mythology of West African tribal life to present a bewitching, nightmarish adventure story. A small boy, left alone to face the terrors of the bush, the impenetrable thickets of the topical forest inhabited only by ghosts, meets all the vile spirits of African mythology and is initiated into the worlds of fear, disease, and death. Tutuola uncannily evokes the awaking of a mortal soul in confrontation with the reality of a people’s world of legend.

Praise for Amos Tutuola:

“Tutuola, writing at a moment when the Yoruba culture he was born into was colliding with that of British Colonialism and Christian proselytism, weaves in aspects of the new West African modernity with Yoruba myth and oral storytelling so seamlessly you could blink and miss it. And the language, too, feels unique to the moment: Tutuola uses the Colonial British he learned in Anglican school to create a more propulsive and energetic version of English to tell the stories of Western Africa.”—Elijah Wolfson, Time Magazine, “100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time”

“Regardless of whether you attribute the success of the book to Tutuola’s genius or just to the richness of Yoruban folklore, it’s an undeniably amazing read: bizarre, exquisite, consistently hilarious, and at once lighthearted and profound.”—Granta, “Best Book of 1952”

“That mythic dimension is what I’m most interested in—the way Tutuola blends the supernatural world seamlessly with human reality.”—Chigozie Obioma, Financial Times

“Brief, thronged, grisly, and bewitching.”—Dylan Thomas, Observer