Instructions: Read Passage II carefully and answer the questions that follows. Each question carries 3 marks
Recently, literally research reveals that Nigerians hardly have time to read. In essence, the reading culture in Nigeria is now at a low ebb. It is disturbing, however, that the few Nigerians that read concentrates on foreign books than indigenous productions. Most Nigerian authors of novels, storybooks, fiction and non-fiction series have decried, on different occasions, their woes. They were bitter in the way most owners of bookshops and publishers treat them. It was gathered that most renowned bookshops in Nigeria hardly sell books written by indigenous authors. They preferred to stock foreign books. When contacted by DAILY INDEPENDENT, the general manager of popular bookstore in Lagos Island declared that most of the bookshops preferred to stock foreign books because of higher demands for them, the question that bothers most Nigerian authors is, while their oversee counterparts are being rewarded with great international honours, why are Nigerians not according them such recognition in their own country?
Recently, Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the 2007 Orange Prize Award, the literary world’s top award for fiction in English written by women. The award carries a prize tag of $30,000. It was reported in Publishers Weekly, Half of a Yellow Sun, the book that earned her the award, was profoundly gripping. According to the reviewer, the book is a ‘transcendent novel of many descriptive triumph, most notably its diction of the impact of war brutalities on peasant and intellectuals alike. It is a searing history in fictional form, intensely evocative and immensely absorbing’. Chinua Achebe, ‘Father of Modern African Literature’, also won the second ever Man Booker international ‘Prize of “£60,000 with his first novel Things Fall Apart, published in 1958.’ When Professor Wole Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, the fame confirmed the relevance of Nigerians in the world of classical excellence. Ben Okri won the 1991 Booker Prize with his work, The Famished Road, and the world celebrated Nigeria as the giant of Africa. It was also gathered that most of the publishers hurriedly produce books and in the process marred their good contents. Most of the books are not properly edited and actually become substandard when compared with the foreign products. The extent to which book publishing standard has fallen in Nigerian is alarming. Often Nigerian publishers have been blamed for this. It is instructive that none of the books mentioned had been published in Nigerian. It was discovered that most students in tertiary institutions depends on dictations from their lecturers and/or handouts. A science lecturer in one of the Nigerian universities, who had been a victim of handout sales scandal, told DAILY INDEPENDENT the reality of campus challenges in relation to books. ‘I was to dictate notes slowly to students who hung on every word in the absence of textbooks in a library that had, to all intent and purpose, stopped buying new books when the local currency devalued. But what other alternative does one have?
Adapted from DAILY INDEPENDENT, Monday, 20 August, 2007
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