Photo Credits to Glen Gratty.

The Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has been named recipient of the 2022 Center for Fiction Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction Award.

The award, conferred by the non-profit organization New York Mercantile Library (also known as Center for Fiction), “honors a writer who, through their exceptional body of work, has significantly shaped our culture and perspective.”

The award is not given annually; rather, it is bestowed upon an author at the discretion of The Center for Fiction Board of Directors. Interestingly, its previous honorees are also Nobel Prize winners. The inaugural awardee was the American author Toni Morrison in 2018, and the British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro in 2021.

The award citation for Soyinka reads:

This year, we’re honoring Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. A playwright, poet, novelist and political activist, Soyinka’s work includes Season of Anomy, his acclaimed memoir Aké: the Years of Childhood, and most recently Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth. Soyinka is an outspoken opponent of oppression and tyranny worldwide and a critic of the political corruption in Nigeria and throughout Africa, and has been imprisoned and exiled for his activism.

Soyinka will appear in conversation with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at the Center for Fiction’s Annual Awards Benefit on December 6.

Congratulations to Professor Wole Soyinka!