Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka’s third novel, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth”, has been released in French.
Originally published in English in 2021, the novel, lauded by the French press for its satirical elements mixing humour and horror, was described by poet and novelist Ben Okri as a “shocking story of political corruption in a country much like his homeland”
It follows the adventures of Papa Davina, a wannabe guru who comes back from the United States and finds an unlikely following as the creator of his own religion.
“The title comes from external sources: I read one of these Gallup polls conducted around the world, one about which are the happiest people in the world,” Soyinka explains.
“I was astonished to find that Nigeria was among the top six, maybe even top three or four. So I started asking myself how we came to earn such an unlikely title, ” Soyinka told RFI’s Catherine Fruchon-Toussaint.
Soyinka’s other two novels are “The Interpreters” (1965) and “Season of Anomy” (1973).