NGUGI WA THIONG’O
Wizard of the Crow
A landmark of postcolonial African literature, Wizard of the Crow is an ambitious, magisterial, comic novel from the acclaimed Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and critic.
Set in the fictional Free Republic of Aburiria, Wizard of the Crow dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for the souls of the Aburirian people, between a megalomaniac dictator and an unemployed young man who embraces the mantle of a magician. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, in this magnificent work of magical realism, Ngugi wa’Thiong’o—one of the most widely read African writers—reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity.
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.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and essayist from Kenya whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.