Wizard of the Crow

ISBN-10: 037542248X
ISBN-13: 9780375422485
Edition: 2006
List price: $30.00
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/8/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 784
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 2.00" tall
Weight: 2.640
Language: English

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.

Born in Limuru, Kenya, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o attended both missionary schools and schools run by Kenya's Kikuyu tribe. In 1964, he graduated from Uganda's Makerere College and then did advance work at the University of Leeds in England. In 1972, Ngugi became head of the literature department at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, a position he held until 1978, when he was arrested and imprisoned for writing a play that the government considered dangerous. Novelist, playwright, and essayist, Ngugi is Kenya's best-known writer and one of East Africa's most outspoken social critics. His first novel, Weep Not, Child (1964), was a penetrating account of the Mau Mau uprising (a tribal revolt that occurred in colonial Kenya.) it was the first English-language novel by an East African. Two subsequent works, The River Between (1965) and A Grain of Wheat (1967), are sensitive novels about the Kikuyu people caught between the old and the new Africa. One of Ngugi's major concerns has been the lack of reading materials in native African languages. In an attempt to bring literature to African peasants and workers, he wrote and produced the play I Will Marry When I Want (1977) in his native Kikuyu language. The play, which shows the exploitation of Kikuyu workers and peasants, attracted a large audience of poor Kenyans. It also led to Ngugi's arrest and imprisonment. Since his release in 1979, he also continues to write in Kikuyu, with a particular interest in children's books.

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