B. Kojo Laing

B. Kojo Laing B. Kojo Laing

Publication

Major Gentl and Achimota Wars [Novel, 1992]

Godhorse [Collection of Poetry, 1989]

Woman of the Aeroplanes [Novel, 1988]

Search sweet country [Novel, Heinemann, 1986]

 

LAING, B(ernard) Kojo (1946-), Ghanaian novelist and poet, was born in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region of Ghana, and gained a master's degree at Glasgow University in 1968. He is the writer of three novels and one volume of poetry.

 

Search Sweet Country (1986), the first novel, is set in the Ghana of the 1970s and focuses on, among other things, the inability of Ghanaian intellectuals to envision a future for Ghana beyond the corrupt and inept dictatorship of Kutu Acheampong. Laing draws freely from both traditional orature and contemporary world literature to represent his idea of the infinite complexity of perspectives. The second novel, Woman of the Aeroplanes (1988), and the third, Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars (1992), are similarly critical of the power-seekers who corrupt all efforts at human progress. Woman of the Aeroplanes is, in one way, a sequel to Search Sweet Country, blending the real and the supernatural in an international setting. Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars is the partly surreal account of the Wars of Existence, which take place in the year 2020 between Major Gentl of Africa and Torro the Terrible, a hybrid of Europe and Africa. Laing's linguistically innovative poetry is collected in Godhorse (1989).

 

As a poet and novelist Laing approaches language inventively: he pushes English to its limits and beyond by fusing Oxbridge with West African Pidgin, elements from African languages, and his own coinings, aiming to create one gigantic living and truly cosmopolitan language.





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