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NGUGI WA THIONG'O

Ngugi 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.

Secret Lives

"An accomplished book, remarkably free from rancor."
-- The Sunday Times

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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Matigari

Translated from Kikuyu by Wangui wa Goro

A moral fable, the novel centres on the character of Matigari, a freedom fighter, who emerges from the forest in the political dawn of post-independence Kenya. Searching for his family and a new future, he finds little has changed in the country: his house is not his house; his land is still being worked by peasants for other masters. His search for his wife and children becomes a quest for Truth and Justice. In this highly charged historical, political allegory, Ngugi has written a novel which makes compelling reading.

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The River Between

The tragic story of two lovers, separated by the different beliefs and backgrounds of their families.

"...that rarity, an almost wordless love story that avoids pseudo-nobility while remaining proudly and distinctively African."
-- The Guardian

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A Grain of Wheat

Mugo is asked to deliver the speech at the Uhuru celebrations. What people do not know is that during Mau Mau he was a traitor. The most ambitious and densely worked of Ngugi's novels.

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The Black Hermit

A play. Should Remi, the first of his tribe to go to university, return to his people? Or should he continue to be a black hermit in the town?

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Weep Not, Child

This is now the best established novel from East Africa. It is set before and during the Mau Mau emergency in Kenya. Njoroge finds himself relentlessly drawn into the tragedy.

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Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary

The international outcry over the detention of Ngugi without a trial by the Kenyan authorities even reached him in the prison. With great accomplishment he describes the purposeful degradation and humiliation. He builds up vivid portraits of his fellow political prisoners. An artfully integrated series of reflections enable him to reflect on his writing, the nature of imprisonment, and the way forward for the people of Kenya. There are moments of tension and drama, as when a warden discovers the almost completed manuscript of his new novel.

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Devil on the Cross coverDevil on the Cross

This remarkable and symbolic novel centers around Wariinga's tragedy and uses it to tell a story of contemporary Kenya faced with the "satan of capitalism." Ngugi has directed his writing even more firmly towards the commitment that he shows in Writers in Politics and Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary. The novel was written secretly in prison on the only available material -- lavatory paper. It was discovered when almost complete but unexpectedly returned to him on his release. Such was the demand for the original Gikuyu edition that it reprinted on publication.

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NGUGI WA THIONG'O and NGUGI WA MIRII

Ngaahika Ndeenda:

I Will Marry When I Want

This is the renowned play which was developed with Kikuyu actors at the Kamiriithu Cultural Centre at Limuru. It proved so powerful, especially in its use of song, that it was banned and was probably one of the factors leading to Ngugi's detention without trial. The original Gikuyu edition went to three printings in the first three months of publication.

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NGUGI WA THIONG'O and Micere MUGO

The Trial of Dedan Kimathi

"The opening night of The Trial could well be described as a gala occasion with the house packed and a degree of audience participation and appreciation which one seldom sees in Nairobi ...culminating in many of the audience joining in the final triumphant dance down the central aisle and spilling out into the street."
--The Sunday Nation, Nairobi

Ngugi and Micere Mugo have built a powerful and challenging play out of the circumstances surrounding the trial of one of the celebrated leaders of the Mau Mau revolution.

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