Secret Lives and Other Stories

Secret Lives and Other Stories

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

This book is currently out of stock with a ready about date of December 31, 1999Ngugi wa Thiong'o is world-famous for his novels from Weep Not, Child to Matigari and for the political impact of his plays, which led to his detention in Kenya. He is presently Professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at New York University. This collection of early stories displays Ngugi's immense skill as a storyteller. He vividly portrays a world of magic and superstition which has not yet been erased by the "white strangers" and their new religion. In "The Village Priest" the rainmaker still exerts deep-rooted power, while the priest cannot deal in certainties, nor work miracles to end the drought; and "A Meeting in the Dark" sees the central character caught in moral dilemma. Christian ideals and ancient tribal customs are shown in conflict, causing tragedy. His later stories reveal an increased political disillusionment and foreshadow the novels which have made him one of Africa's leading commentators.
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In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir

In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

With black-and-white illustrations throughout World-renowned Kenyan novelist, poet, playwright, and literary critic Ng˜ug˜ý wa Thiong’o gives us the second volume of his memoirs in the wake of his critically acclaimed Dreams in a Time of War. In the House of the Interpreter richly and poignantly evokes the author’s life and times at boarding school—the first secondary educational institution in British-ruled Kenya—in the 1950s, against the backdrop of the tumultuous Mau Mau Uprising for independence and Kenyan sovereignty. While Ng˜ug˜ý has been enjoying scouting trips, chess tournaments, and reading about the fictional RAF pilot adventurer Biggles at the prestigious Alliance High School near Nairobi, things have been changing rapidly at home. Poised as he is between two worlds, Ng˜ug˜ý returns home for his first visit since starting school to find his house razed and the entire village moved up the road, closer to a guard checkpoint. Later, his brother Good Wallace, a member of the insurgency, is captured by the British and taken to a concentration camp. As for Ng˜ug˜ý himself, he falls victim to the forces of colonialism in the person of a police officer encountered on a bus journey, and he is thrown into jail for six days. In his second year at Alliance High School, the boarding school that was his haven in a heartless world is shattered by investigations, charges of disloyalty, and the politics of civil unrest. In the House of the Interpreter hauntingly describes the formative experiences of a young man who would become a world-class writer and, as a political dissident, a moral compass to us all. It is a winning celebration of the implacable determination of youth and the power of hope.
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Petals of Blood

Petals of Blood

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

The puzzling murder of three African directors of a foreign-owned brewery sets the scene for this fervent, hard-hitting novel about disillusionment in independent Kenya. A deceptively simple tale, Petals of Blood is on the surface a suspenseful investigation of a spectacular triple murder in upcountry Kenya. Yet as the intertwined stories of the four suspects unfold, a devastating picture emerges of a modern third-world nation whose frustrated people feel their leaders have failed them time after time. First published in 1977, this novel was so explosive that its author was imprisoned without charges by the Kenyan government. His incarceration was so shocking that newspapers around the world called attention to the case, and protests were raised by human-rights groups, scholars, and writers, including James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Donald Barthelme, Harold Pinter, and Margaret Drabble.
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Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening

Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Birth of a Dream Weaver charts the very beginnings of a writer’s creative output. In this wonderful memoir, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o recounts the four years he spent in Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda—threshold years where he found his voice as a playwright, journalist, and novelist, just as Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and other countries were in the final throes of their independence struggles. James Ngugi, as he was known then, is haunted by the emergency period of the previous decade in Kenya, when his friends and relatives were killed during the Mau Mau Rebellion. He is also haunted by the experience of his childhood in a polygamous family and the brave break his mother made from his father’s home. Accompanied by these ghosts, Ngugi begins to weave stories from the fibers of memory, history, and a shockingly vibrant and turbulent present. What unfolds in this moving and thought-provoking memoir is both the birth of one of the most important living writers—lauded for his “epic imagination” (Los Angeles Times)—and the death of one of the most violent episodes in global history.
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Dreams in a Time of War

Dreams in a Time of War

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Born in 1938 in rural Kenya, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o came of age in the shadow of World War II, amidst the terrible bloodshed in the war between the Mau Mau and the British. The son of a man whose four wives bore him more than a score of children, young Ngũgĩ displayed what was then considered a bizarre thirst for learning, yet it was unimaginable that he would grow up to become a world-renowned novelist, playwright, and critic. In Dreams in a Time of War, Ngũgĩ deftly etches a bygone era, bearing witness to the social and political vicissitudes of life under colonialism and war. Speaking to the human right to dream even in the worst of times, this rich memoir of an African childhood abounds in delicate and powerful subtleties and complexities that are movingly told. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Wrestling With the Devil: A Prison Memoir

Wrestling With the Devil: A Prison Memoir

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978. A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper – it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross. Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi’s unforgettable account of the drama and challenges of living under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He captures not only the pain caused by his isolation from his family, but also the spirit of defiance and the imaginative endeavours that allowed him to survive.
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Wizard of the Crow

Wizard of the Crow

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic—a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngugl wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in Wizard of the Crow is, in his own words,nothing less than “to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history.” Commencing in “our times” and set in the “Free Republic of Aburlria,” the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, Wizard of the Crow reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity. Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling, Wizard of the Crow is a masterpiece, the crowning achievement in Ngugl wa Thiong’o’s career thus far.
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Weep Not, Child

Weep Not, Child

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Tells the moving story about the effects of the Mau Mau war on the lives of ordinary men and women in Kenya. In the forests, the Mau Mau are waging war against the white government, and two brothers, Kamau and Njoroge, and the rest of the family must decide where their loyalties lie.
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Minutes of Glory

Minutes of Glory

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

A dazzling short story collection from the person Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls "one of the greatest writers of our time" Ngũgĩ wa Thiong 'o, although renowned for his novels, memoirs, and plays, honed his craft as a short story writer. From "The Fig Tree" written in 1960, his first year as an undergraduate at Makere University College in Uganda, to the playful "The Ghost of Michael Jackson," written while a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California Irvine, these collected stories reveal a master of the short form. Covering the period of British colonial rule and resistance in Kenya to the bittersweet experience of independence—and including two stories that have never before been published in the United States—Ngũgĩ's characters include women fighting for their space in a patriarchal society, big men in their Bentleys and Mercedes who have inherited power from the...
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Birth of a Dream Weaver

Birth of a Dream Weaver

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o

One of Oprah.com's "17 Must-Read Books for the New Year" and O Magazine's "10 Titles to Pick up Now." “Exquisite in its honesty and truth and resilience, and a necessary chronicle from one of the greatest writers of our time. "—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Guardian, Best Books of 2016. “Every page ripples with a contagious faith in education and in the power of literature to shape the imagination and scour the conscience."—The Washington Post From one of the world's greatest writers, the story of how the author found his voice as a novelist at Makerere University in Uganda Birth of a Dream Weaver charts the very beginnings of a writer's creative output. In this wonderful memoir, Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o recounts the four years he spent at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda—threshold years during which he found his voice as a...
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