(1903-1963), Yoruba chief, teacher, and pioneer of Nigerian imaginative prose, born in Oke-Igbo, Nigeria, and educated at St. Luke's School, Oke-Igbo, and St. Andrew's College, Oyo. His highly popular books influenced the work of Amos Tutuola and made him an important forerunner of the development of the Nigerian novel. Fagunwa's picaresque, Yoruba-language narratives include elements—rhetoric, fantasy, magic, and wordplay, among others—derived from Yoruba oral tradition, while blending Christian and Yoruba teachings as well as original and traditional proverbs. The first of his book-length narratives, whose title, literally translated, is The Brave Hunter in the Forest of Four Hundred Spirits, was published in 1938 and represents an important milestone in Yoruba fiction, in part due to its scope, and in the history of the African novel. Achebe praises Fagunwa in the essay “The African Writer and the English Language, ” declaring that while he himself uses English, “I hope…that there always will be men, like the late Chief Fagunwa, who will choose to write in their native tongue and insure that our ethnic literature will flourish side by side with the national ones” (103).
Thomas J. Lynn
(1925-1961) was a leading Third World intellectual whose work provided important inspiration to the struggle against colonialism and theoretical support to the subsequent growth of postcolonial culture. Indeed, Fanon was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Though born in the French Antilles, he was particularly influential in Africa, where his writings provided a background for the works of a number of important anticolonial writers, especially Kenya's Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Senegal's Ousmane Sembéne. During the 1950s and early 1960s, just as modern African literature was coming into being, Fanon's various writings, especially Les damnés de la terre (1961, English translation The Wretched of the Earth, 1963), pre-