‘My desire is to be the possessor of all the best books in this world of struggle’: respectability and literary materialism in colonial Ibadan

Ruth Watson
The Nigerian novelist, Ben Okri, gives us a vivid picture of books on display in his childhood home. We glimpse the potency of literary knowledge, and also a world of aspirant respectability that had deeper, colonial, origins. Silver Okri was originally a railway clerk, who in 1959 won a scholarship to study law in London. This was shortly after the birth of his son Ben in the northern Nigerian town of Minna, which lay at...
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