Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Eclipse

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  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 384 pages
    Sep 2009, 560 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Beyond the Book

Ken Saro-Wiwa

In his acknowledgments, Richard North Patterson confirms that Eclipse is loosely based on the life and death of Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995.

Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995) was born Kenule Benson Tsaro-Wiwa in Bori, Rivers State (a coastal state in the south of Nigeria, map).  He was the son of Jim Beesom Wiwa, a businessman and community chief of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority whose homelands have been targeted for oil extraction since the 1950s.  The Ogoni are one of the many indigenous people of the Niger Delta region. Their 404-square-mile homeland, known as Ogoniland, is located in Rivers State on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and is home to about half a million people,

 At the age of thirteen, he won a scholarship to Government College in Umuahia in the South-East of Nigeria, where he was a model pupil who enjoyed the English way of life (Nigeria was a British colony until 1960).  After ...

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