The Interpreters

The Interpreters

About the Book

From the first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—his debut novel about a group of young Nigerian intellectuals trying to come to grips with themselves and their changing country. First published in 1965.

Friends since high school, the five young men at the heart of The Interpreters have returned to Lagos after studying abroad to embark on careers as a physician, a journalist, an engineer, a teacher, and an artist. As they navigate wild parties, affairs of the heart, philosophical debates, and professional dilemmas, they struggle to reconcile the cultural traditions and Western influences that have shaped them—and that still divide their country. Soyinka deftly weaves memories of the past through scenes of the present as the five friends move toward an uncertain future. The result is a vividly realized fictional world rendered in prose that pivots easily from satire to tragedy and manages to be both wildly funny and soaringly poetic.
Read more
Close

Praise for The Interpreters

"The novel is rich in well-turned individual scenes. . . . it is a work in which the esthetic and political problems are meshed in an almost classical way."
The New York Times

"It is elaborately, strikingly and indeed often beautifully written."
The Times
  
"A great steaming marsh of a novel. . . brimful of promise and life."
New Statesmen
  
"The first African novel that has a texture of real complexity and depth."
—Gerald Moore, The New African
Read more
Close

Vintage International Series

Of Human Bondage
Giovanni's Room (Deluxe Edition)
Go Tell It on the Mountain (Deluxe Edition)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Deluxe Edition)
Answered Prayers
The Rainbow
Caligula and Three Other Plays
Mosquitoes
Soldiers' Pay
Out (Special Edition)
View more

About the Author

Wole Soyinka
WOLE SOYINKA was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. Born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, in 1934, he is an author, playwright, poet, and political activist whose prolific body of work includes The Interpret­ers, his debut novel that was published in 1965, and Death and the King's Horseman, a play that was first performed in 1976. So­yinka was twice jailed in Nigeria for his crit­icism of the Nigerian government, and he destroyed his U.S. Green Card in 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. More by Wole Soyinka
Decorative Carat
Random House Publishing Group