This collection relating to the literary career of African author Amos
Tutuola (1920-1997) was compiled by Bernth Lindfors, Professor Emeritus of
English at the University of Texas at Austin. A longtime friend and advocate,
Lindfors engaged in extensive correspondence on behalf of Tutuola's literary
interests. In addition, he was instrumental in raising awareness of Tutuola's
importance as a leading African writer, which led to the purchase of Tutuola's
manuscripts for the Ransom Center collections in 1988.
The Lindfors Collection of Amos Tutuola contains a few tearsheets and
photocopies of Tutuola's published works, articles by Lindfors and others, book
reviews, criticism, memorials and tributes, correspondence, certificates and
awards, interviews, and photographs. The materials are arranged in three
series: I. Works By and About Tutuola, II. Correspondence, 1951-2000, and III.
Tutuola's works in Series I. include photocopies of pages from a
published edition of
The Palm-Wine Drinkard; an Italian
translation of a chapter from
The Witch Herbalist; published short
"Adisa and Ade,"
"Don't Pay Bad for Bad,"
"The Elephant Woman"; and excerpts from
the short story
"The Land Which Has the Eyes." Works
about Tutuola comprise the remainder of the series and include articles by
Lindfors and others, book reviews, literary criticism, and posthumous memorials
and tributes. Included are typescript drafts of Lindfors's introduction to
The Wild Hunter in the Bush of the
Series II. Correspondence, 1951-2000, contains Lindfors's letters to
and from publishers and colleagues, as well as a long run of Tutuola letters to
Lindfors, 1968-1997. Publishers files include Faber & Faber, Donald Herdeck
(at Three Continents Press), Andor Kraszna-Krausz (of Focal Press), Grove
Press, and Lutterworth Press. Of note is a file of correspondence between
Tutuola and Faber & Faber from 1951-1967. Lindfors was successful in
obtaining photocopies of this correspondence to document important transactions
in the publishing of
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and other titles.
There is considerable material regarding a 1978 article written by Yemi
Ogunbiyi critical of the handling of Tutuola's works, as well as Lindfors's
response. Posthumous correspondence includes letters exchanged with Tutuola's
son, Oluyinka Tutuola, regarding the estate, and a file regarding the plans for
the 1999 Amos Tutuola Festival. Letters between Lindfors and African scholar
Robert Wren are also present.
Series III. Career-Related Material includes photocopies of several of
Tutuola's certificates and awards, interviews with Tutuola, and informal
snapshots of family and friends. Also present is a program for a performance at
Indiana University of an opera by Kola Ogunmola based on
The Palm-Wine Drinkard.