A Writer’s Awakening
In this moving and thought-provoking memoir, the great writer speaks of his emergence during one of Africa's most violent periods
‘Exquisite in its honesty and truth and resilience, and a necessary chronicle from one of the greatest writers of our time’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Guardian
When Ngugi wa Thiong’o arrives at the prestigious Makerere University, it embodies all the potential and excitement of the early 1960s. Campus is a haven of opportunity for the brightest African students, a meeting place for thinkers and writers from all over the world, and its alumni are filling Africa’s emerging political and cultural positions.
Despite the challenges he faces as a young black man in a British colony, it is here that Ngugi begins to find his voice as a playwright, journalist and novelist, writing his first, pivotal works just as the countries of East Africa enter the final stages of their independence struggles.
“I particularly loved [Birth of A Dream Weaver]… Exquisite in its honesty and truth and resilience, and a necessary chronicle from one of the greatest writers of our time.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Guardian, Book of the Year
“The book tracks the blossoming of a politically conscious young writer’s talent in the nurturing environment that was Makerere in its prime. Egged on by fellow students, encouraged by the progressive dean Hugh Dinwiddy and offered tips by a visiting Chinua Achebe, Ngugi finds his creative voice just as a continent is finding its freedom. The convictions he forms will last a lifetime: the quest for African dignity and self-realization, a rejection of Western hegemony, a passionate call for Africans to tell their own story in their own indigenous languages.”
Michela Wrong, New York Times
“Ngugi has written an autobiographical masterpiece... a riveting read in African history and literature”
Library Journal, STARRED review
“Ngugi wa Thiong’o recalls his upbringing in colonial Kenya... Mr Ngugi’s unstated goal throughout this book is reclamation...of much of the colonial endeavour in east Africa.”
“A tremendous writer... It's hard to doubt the power of the written word when you hear the story of Ngugi wa Thiong’o”
“His words have the ring of truth.”
Simon Shaw, The Mail on Sunday