Award winning novelist, Isidore Okpewho, dies at 74

AWARD winning novelist and foremost literature scholar, Professor Isidore Okpewho, has died.

Professor Okpewho died in a Binghamton Hospital, a town in Upstate New York where he had lived and taught since 1991.

He taught at the University of New York, Buffalo (1974-76), University of Ibadan (1976-90), Harvard University (1990-91), and State University of New York at Binghamton.

Professor Okpewho was born on November 9, 1941 in Agbor, Delta State, Nigeria; he grew up in Asaba, his maternal hometown, where he attended St Patrick’s College, Asaba.

He graduated with a First Class Honours in Classics at the University College Ibadan, and moved on to launch a career: first in publishing at Longman Publishers, and then as an academic after obtaining his PhD from the University of Denver, USA. He crowned his certification with a D.Litt from University of London.

Professor Okpewho won the 1976 African Arts Prize for Literature and 1993 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Africa. His four novels, The Victims, The Last Duty, Tides, and Call me by my Rightful Name are widely studied in Africa and other parts of the world, with some of them translated into major world languages.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs Obiageli Okpewho; his children: Ediru, Ugo, Afigo, and Onome, as well as members of his extended family.