A Preliminary Inventory of His Collection of Amos Tutuola at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
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. Career-Related Material.
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 stories "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 Ghosts.
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.
Open for research
Gift, 2005 (Gift no. 12435)
Liz Murray, 2005
Bernth Lindfors Collection of Amos Tutuola--Folder List