In the Shadow of a Saint by Ken Wiwa
A Son's Journey to Understand His Father's Legacy

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In late 1995, the little-known Ogoni region in Nigeria became a fable for our times. Ken Saro-Wiwa, a renowned poet and environmentalist, was campaigning to protect his Ogoni people against the encroachments of Shell Oil and a brutal dictatorship. He was imprisoned, tortured, brought to trial on trumped-up charges, and executed.

At the heart of the public campaign to save Ken Saro-Wiwa was another Ken Wiwa—the author's son—who travelled the world lobbying world leaders and mobilizing public opinion, so that his father was recognized as a hero and a symbol of the struggle for environmental justice. The Saro-Wiwa name became global currency for righteousness.

Ken Wiwa has embarked on a book that tells the story—from a human, anecdotal perspective—of what it means to grow up as a child in the shadow of such extraordinary men and women. In the end, it's about Ken's attempts to make peace with himself and his father—following his journey as he reaches toward a final rendezvous with the father who was snatched by the hangman.

About Ken Wiwa

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Born in Nigeria and educated in England, Ken Wiwa now contributes to newpapers, including The Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. Internationally his journalism has appeared in South Africa, Holland, Germany and Spain and in a weekly column for Vanguard in Nigeria. Ken was also Internet editor for The Guardian for nearly two years. He now lives in Canada with his family and is Senior Resident Writer at Massey College in the University of Toronto.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published January 1, 2000 by DOUBLEDAY. 261 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships, Law & Philosophy, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Wiwa handles plenty of confusion and guilt with aplomb as he unravels an irascible, emotionally demanding, and domineering father, yet also a man who called the military, corrupt businessmen, and greedy multinationals (the “lootocracy”) to task for their wanton despoliation of Nigeria—a country m...

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Publishers Weekly

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The daunting emotional challenge of living up to an almost mythically famous parent is the subject of Wiwa's brutally candid memoir, which explores his psychological tug-of-war with his father, Nigerian writer and human rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

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London Review of Books

For a reason that is never properly explained, and which seems at odds with his political agenda, Ken Saro-Wiwa chose to educate his children at English public schools – Eton, Roedean, Tonbridge – even as he insisted that ‘we would all return to Nigeria at the end of our studies and apply our exp...

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