A preeminent translator has translated a prominent book, producing an outcome that is magnetic and majestic. A timeless story comes alive, the strictures of state decadence narrated with clairvoyance, but the resolution drags us to an uncertain destination. Can there be a secular rapture?
– Toyin Falola, Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Jacob and Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, the University of Texas at Austin
Those familiar with Ṣaworoidẹ, late Akínwùmí Ìṣọ̀lá’s celebrated drama, both text and movie based on it, know too well the importance of the story it tells, to wit, a contemplation of the fortunes of our contemporary life as reflected in the core areas of state/individual, individual/individual relations, and the mutual encumbrances that they entail for everyday living. This is not to neglect its commentaries on private and public morals, the institutions of culture and how we navigate the challenges of change in all its ramifications. What Professor Olúbùnmi Smith has done in this splendid translation is to offer a wider audience Ìṣọ̀lá’s genius as a dramatist, stylist, and just one heck of a storyteller without losing the beauty, the tightness, and the topicality of the original. Add to that her conveyance of the universal themes that abound in the text that make Ìṣọ̀lá’s work not a mere Yorùbá story. We all owe Professor Smith a debt of gratitude for enhancing our repertoire, once again.
– Olúfẹ́mi Táíwo, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Pamela J. Olúbùnmi Smith is a Professor Emerita of English, Humanities and Women’s Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Smith holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of translation studies and Yorùbá Language and Literature. Her four English translations from the Yoruba include: Ẹfúnṣetán Àníwúrà, Ìyálóde Ibadan & Olú Ọmọ Tinuúbú, Ìyálóde Egba (2004) and Treasury of Childhood Memories (2016) by Akinwumi Isola, and The Freedom Fight (2010) by Adébáyọ̀ Fálétí, the two leading contemporary Yoruba writers. She is a co-author of yorùbádictionary.com.