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A Grain of Wheatby Ngugi Wa Thiong'o
Synopses & Reviews
The latest addition to the Penguin African Writers Series: the great Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiongos powerful fictional critique of capitalism
One of the cornerstones of Ngugi wa Thiongos fame, Devil on the Cross was written in secret, on toilet paper, while Ngugi was in prison. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature.
A 50th-anniversary edition of one of the most powerful novels by the great Kenyan author and Nobel Prize contender
A legendary work of African literature, this moving and eye-opening novel lucidly captures the drama of a people and culture whose world has been overturned. The River Between explores life in the mountains of Kenya during the early days of white settlement. Faced with a choice between an alluring new religion and their own ancestral customs, the Gikuyu people are torn between those who fear the unknown and those who see beyond it.
The best-known novel by the great Kenyan writer
Set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya's independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a group of villagers whose lives have been transformed by the 1952–1960 Emergency. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village's chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret. As we learn of the villagers' tangled histories in a narrative interwoven with myth and peppered with allusions to real-life leaders, including Jomo Kenyatta, a masterly story unfolds in which compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed, and loves are tested.
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