Without doubt, the greatest writer to emerge from his native Kenya, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is outstanding both for the number of books he has written and the enduring quality of his writing.
Ngugi’s prolific writing career started in the 1960s, when he wrote his first work, a play titled “The Black Hermit.” His breakthrough came in 1964 when he wrote “Weep Not Child”, a book described as “one of the first novels to make the literary world realize that writers in Africa were making a fresh and original contribution to world literature.”
In tune with his world view, Ngugi’s writing has tended to speak out against the injustices that he experienced as he grew up in post-colonial Kenya. He has remained a strong critic of colonialism and its lingering corruption of Africa culture, society and politics, a topic he addressed in his book, “Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986).
In 1977, he was imprisoned when a play he wrote angered the then Vice President, and future President of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi. Ngugi was forced into exile, and for over 20 years stayed away from his mother country.
Ngugi currently lives in the United States, where he is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.
In March 2010, Ngugi released his most recent work, “Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir, in which he throws light on his own personal story.
Sources: Author’s site, Wikipedia, Various Newspaper articles
Author’s page – http://www.ngugiwathiongo.com/index.html
Publisher’s Site – http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/catalog/author.htm?authorID=50289
Selected Books by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Weep Not, Child (1964)
The River Between (1965)
A Grain of Wheat (1967)
A Meeting in the Dark (1974)
Petals of Blood, (1977)
Devil on the Cross (1982)
Wizard of the Crow (2006)
Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance (2009)
Dreams in a Time of War: a Childhood Memoir (2010)
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Book Review: The River Between (1965)
Book Review: Weep Not, Child (1964)