Grain of Wheat

ISBN-10: 0435909878

ISBN-13: 9780435909871

Edition: 1986 (Reprint)

List price: $14.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description:

This is a compelling account of the turbulence that inflamed Kenya in the 1950s and its impact on people's lives. Five friends and agemates make different choices when the Mau Mau rebellion erupts in colonial Kenya. Kihika joins the freedom fighters in the forest; Gikonyo supports the rebels, but is arrested and detained; Mumbi, Gikonyo's wife, works to keep family and home together in the village; Karanja chooses to support the more powerful British masters; Mugo ultimately betrays his friends and loses his life in a desperate attempt to stay alive and stay neutral. In this ambitious and densely worked novel, we begin to see early signs of Ngugi's increasing bitterness about the ways in which the politicians, not the fighters or their families, are the true benefactors of the rewards on independence.
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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 1986
Publisher: Heinemann
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

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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