‘THE RISE OF THE AFRICAN NOVEL’-A REVIEW

Prof. Ngugi makes an insightful analysis of the inexorable rise of African novel in this book. He traces its origins back to 1962 at the African Writers of English Expression Conference convened at Makerere University, Uganda.

He makes reference to the works of Africa’s greatest writers among them:

Ama Ata Aidoo; Micere Mugo; Bessie Head; Buchi Emecheta; Mariama Ba; Tsitsi Dangarembga; Chinua Achebe; Christopher Okigbo; Wole Soyinka; James Ngugi; Bloke Modisane; and Ezekiel Mphahlele.

Ngugi, like his father before him, grapples with many questions herein, chief among them being; what is African literature?

What’s the place of African languages in building and sustaining African literature?

How did we get here?

What does the future portend?

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3/70

‘LETTERS TO MY SON’-A REVIEW

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Joan Thatiah, one of Kenya’s most talented and captivating authors, speaks to men on mattes life and relationship in her third instalment aptly titled, Letters to My Son.

She draws from her life experience, growing up in a house full of brothers, the examples set by her Father, the men she has encountered in her professional and romantic paths.

Joan addresses oft-overlooked yet crucially pertinent subjects on life and romance. These include: The importance of a firm handshake; sex, masculinity and redefining masculinity.

Her writing style is laid-back yet candid. Educating yet entertaining. Soft yet potent.

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‘ONE DAY I WILL WRITE ABOUT THIS PLACE’ – A REVIEW

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Kenya’s winner of the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing delivers a sobering account of his life in his memoirs One Day I Will Write About This Place. Bivanyanga Wainana was as multi-cultural as he was multi-talented. 

Herein, he recounts significant moments of his upbringing. He has seen it all – Daring despotism, a smooth transfer of power, rigged elections, civil war. 

Vicariously, he accompanies the reader revisiting these epochs in time. In juxtaposing these different zeitgeists, he offers a unique perspective on the intricacies of democracy, writing, nation-building and humanity itself. 

One of the hallmarks of his life was founding the Kwani Trust in Kenya to nurture and mentor writers who wanted to tell the African story.

Bivanyanga holds nothing back. He writes in a uniquely African, easy-to-read, inviting language. He tackles death, sexual assault, language, politics and so much more. 

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‘FIND ME UNAFRAID’ – A REVIEW

Find Me Unafraid is a moving story of loss, love, determination and hope. Kibera – one of Africa’s largest slums – would be the birth place of the most unlikeliest of relationships. It would be here that two people from diametrically different worlds would find each other and find love. Kennedy Odede from a destitute family in Kibera would meet Jessica Posner, an educated, middle-class girl from Denver. 

This book is co-written by the two. Each of them giving the reader their story from their vantage point. It all comes together towards the end, just as their lives have. 

Find Me Unafraid of love is one of those books that inspire you to do more, be more. It sends out hope to the hopeless, love to the unloved and motivation to the demotivated. 

Kibera stays at the heart of this novel. Kennedy Odede risks life and limb, countless times, in his quest to better it. Jessica finds herself enmeshed in this noble project and eventually takes it up as her own. Together, these two have retold the story of Africa’s largest slums, uplifting millions in the process.

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