Since Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution in 1995, critical accounts of his intellectual legacy have tended to focus on the influence of the Ogoni struggle on his writing and as a consequence have overlooked the role played by the Nigeria-Biafra War in the development of his intellectual sensibility. Given that Saro-Wiwa worked as a government administrator during the war, and wrote a novel, a memoir, and a book of poetry in response to the conflict, this article works to relocate his legacy in the trajectory of Biafran War literature. By exploring Saro-Wiwa's negotiation of ideas of canon and history in his Biafran War writing, it argues that the civil war is a traumatic but transformative preoccupation of his literary and political work. In doing so, it draws on theoretical insights about the self-reflexive narration of history and trauma and engages with the potential for poetry to textually reembody marginalized voices.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 21-38
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.