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Pauper, Brawler and Slanderer

Amos Tutuola

Pauper, Brawler and Slanderer, by Amos Tutuola, shows the Nigerian novelist at his funniest and most vivid, his characteristic wisdom and imagination mixing with the Yoruba folk tradition upon which Tutuola draws.

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Drawing on the Yoruba folk tradition, Amos Tutuola’s tales combine the resonance of universal myth with reflections on a range of human vagaries. The leading characters of Pauper, Brawler and Slanderer are all forced to embark on journeys of no return, leading to incidents and adventures in classic Tutuola style. There is a ploughing competition for the hand of the beautiful Popondoro, and the reign of Pauper and Slanderer in the town of women is inevitably brief. This is Tutuola at his most vivid and funny, at his wisest and most imaginative.


Amos Tutuola was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, in 1920. The son of a cocoa farmer, he attended several schools before training as a blacksmith. He later worked as a civil servant. His first novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, was published in 1952 and brought him international recognition. From 1956 until retirement, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Company while continuing to…

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