A Grain Of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o


*Author, a grain of wheat*

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o born James Ngugi; 5 January 1938) is a Kenyan author and academic who writes primarily in Gikuyu and who formerly wrote in English. He has been described as having been “considered East Africa’s leading novelist”. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children’s literature. He is the founder and editor of the Gikuyu-language journal Mũtĩiri. His short story The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright, is translated into 100 languages from around the world.

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*A grain of wheat*

Set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya’s independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a group of villagers whose lives have been transformed by the 1952–1960 Emergency. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village’s chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret.

As we learn of the villagers’ tangled histories in a narrative interwoven with myth and peppered with allusions to real-life leaders, including Jomo Kenyatta, a masterly story unfolds in which compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed, and loves are tested.

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