Author: Wole Soyinka
Publisher: Vintage (2021)
From the first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—his debut novel about a group of young Nigerian intellectuals trying to come to grips with themselves and their changing country. First published in 1965.
Friends since high school, the five young men at the heart of The Interpreters have returned to Lagos after studying abroad to embark on careers as a physician, a journalist, an engineer, a teacher, and an artist. As they navigate wild parties, affairs of the heart, philosophical debates, and professional dilemmas, they struggle to reconcile the cultural traditions and Western influences that have shaped them—and that still divide their country. Soyinka deftly weaves memories of the past through scenes of the present as the five friends move toward an uncertain future. The result is a vividly realized fictional world rendered in prose that pivots easily from satire to tragedy and manages to be both wildly funny and soaringly poetic.