My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (novel)

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My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Author Amos Tutuola
Language English
Publisher Faber and Faber
Publication date
Pages 174
Preceded by The Palm-Wine Drinkard
Followed by Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a novel by African writer Amos Tutuola from Nigeria published in 1954.

This novel recounts the fate of a mortal who stray into the world of ghosts. The 'bush' is the wilderness of Western Africa. Here, as every hunter and traveler knows, mortals venture at great peril, and it is here that a small boy is left alone.

The album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by David Byrne and Brian Eno was named after the book.

The book is written in English, but the grammar is highly modified and seems to represent the description of the external world from a distinctly uneducated and unlearned viewpoint, that of a lost 7 year old boy running into the bush from his village being destroyed by the slave trade. Mr. Tutuola's English at the time of writing was excellent so this is a clearly designed and purposefully used literary device.

The story is not one unbroken narrative, as other stories also appear out of sequence.

Many of the stories have the qualities of children's tales but with nightmarish or gruesome elements, similar to Grimm's Fairy Tales.

His earlier work, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, is arguably related as both books are heavily metaphorical and autobiographical.