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Wrestling with the Devil
  • Published: 2 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784702243
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

Wrestling with the Devil

A Prison Memoir



An unforgettable chronicle of the year the brilliant novelist and memoirist, long favoured for the Nobel Prize, endured in a Kenyan jail

Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978. A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper – it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross.Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi’s unforgettable account of the drama and challenges of living under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He captures not only the pain caused by his isolation from his family, but also the spirit of defiance and the imaginative endeavours that allowed him to survive.

  • Published: 2 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784702243
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is one of the leading writers and scholars at work in the world today. His books include the novels Petals of Blood, for which he was imprisoned by the Kenyan government in 1977, A Grain of Wheat and Wizard of the Crow; the memoirs, Dreams in a Time of War, In the House of the Interpreter and Birth of a Dream Weaver; and the essays, Decolonizing the Mind, Something Torn and New and Globalectics. Recipient of many honours, among them ten honorary doctorates, he is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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Praise for Wrestling with the Devil

One of the greatest writers of our time

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A tremendous writer... It's hard to doubt the power of the written word when you hear the story of Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Guardian

Ngugi is affording us a glimpse into how a prisoner of conscience, by stubbornly reiterating his convictions, keeps faith with the ideals that those in power want him to betray... This thrilling testament to the human spirit had, for me, a fierce resonance... I could not help feeling that his luminous words were meant for those victims and many others being persecuted across the world, a way of urging humanity to never surrender to the demons of fear and silence

Ariel Dorfman, New York Times

One of Kenya's greatest storytellers

Financial Times

A visionary writer

Daily Telegraph

In his crowded career and eventful life, Ngugi has enacted, for all to see, the paradigmatic trials and quandaries of a contemporary African writer, caught in sometimes implacable political, social, racial and linguistic currents

John Updike, New Yorker

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