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Political Topicality and Literary Aesthetics in Wale Okediran’s Novels

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The prolificity, contemporaneity, and topicality of Wale Okediran’s themes are irrefutable indices to his claim to a place in the Nigerian literary canon. His engagement with and exposé of Nigeria’s intractable neurotic leadership disorders are timely and highly commendable. Also worthy of note are the promotion and popularity that the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has given his latest novel, Tenants of the House, as it fills a significant gap and promises a positive turn in the development of Nigerian literature. This essay examines Okediran’s topical themes in relation to his craftsmanship; it investigates his deployment of aesthetic devices in the realization of his artistic vision. It fundamentally asks: what constitutes literariness in Okediran’s novels? Where does this belong in the Nigerian tradition of the novel? If it marks a shift from the conventional novelistic tradition, in what ways does it advance it? Considering that Okediran is one of Nigeria’s most prolific contemporary writers, it is important to determine his place in the Nigerian canon and also to analyse critically the factors responsible for that position.

Affiliations: 1: University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria


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