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.