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When Worlds Collide
Writer and journalist Noo Saro-Wiwa will discuss her native Nigeria through the lens of her relationship with her activist father, who was executed when she was 19 years old.
Writer and journalist Noo Saro-Wiwa, whose provocative memoir about her self-imposed exile from Nigeria and her impressions upon her return won the The Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year in 2012, will speak at Washington College on April 26. Her talk “Nigeria: When Worlds Collide” will begin at 6:00 p.m. in Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall. Free and open to the public, the presentation is sponsored by Washington College’s Geographic Information Systems program.
Saro-Wiwa moved with her mother and siblings to Britain from Nigeria when she was barely a year old. Every summer she and her siblings returned to Nigeria to visit her father, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who became famous for his campaign against Big Oil and its detrimental effects on Nigeria. When she was 19 years old, her father was arrested and executed along with eight other activists, an event that caused international outrage and backlash against the Nigerian government. But while the world mourned the loss of the brave activists, Noo Saro-Wiwa mourned the loss of her father.
His execution compelled her to stay away from Nigeria for over a decade, visiting only for her father’s funeral. When she finally returned to Nigeria she was surprised to find the country she thought she understood so well to be a place she barely knew. It is her time in Nigeria, her summer visits with her father, and her return many years after his death that she explores in Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria (Granta, 2012).
Saro-Wiwa attended King’s College in London and Columbia University in New York. Transwonderland, winner of The Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year in 2012 and nominated by The Financial Times as one of the best travel books of 2012, has been translated into multiple languages and read around the world. Saro-Wiwa has also written articles for publications including The Guardian, The Independent, and The Financial Times.
For more information about the event visit http://ow.ly/4mKm6b.