Forest of A Thousand Daemons
"His total conviction in multiple existences within our physical world is as much an inspiration to some of the most brilliant fiction in Yoruba writing as it is a deeply felt urge to 'justify the ways of God to man.'"—Wole Soyinka
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.
Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka translated Fagunwa's masterwork while imprisoned during the Nigerian Civil War in the 1960s. He also provides an essay on the special challenges of translating Fagunwa from the Yoruba into English, along with a glossary of Yoruba and unfamiliar words.