Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tanure Ojaide, the Frank Porter Graham Professor of Africana Studies, has published a new collection of short stories, “God’s Naked Children,” and a volume of 105 poems, “The Questioner.”

Written over a period of five years, “God’s Naked Children” is a fictional collection, but it was inspired by the author's experiences and reflections on everyday encounters. The 21 short stories include such intriguing titles as “The Priest's Dog Falls in Love,” “The Pregnant Widow,” “The Women's Final Solution” and “Foolish Professor!” According to Ojaide, he wrote these stories for pleasurable reading, but he also wanted them to provoke thoughtful discussion about social life and its compounding contradictions.

With “The Questioner,” Ojaide wrote in the preface that the poems take “into consideration the African experience in the age of globalization and … technology, and the need to sharpen the intellectual appetite through novel aesthetic experimentations. The poet of today has to be an enchanter to turn the world from its many distractions to a new type of artistic beauty.”

In 2016, Ojaide receive the Nigerian National Order of Merit in the humanities category.