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During the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970) Wole Soyinka was arrested and incarcerated for twenty-two months, most of it spent in solitary confinement in a cell, 4ft by 8ft. His offence: assisting the Biafran secessionists.
The Man Died, now regarded as a classic of prison literature, is a product of this experience. What comes through in the compelling narrative is the author’s uncompromising, principled stand on the universality and indivisibility of freedom and human rights.