Barrel of a Pen: Resistance to Repression in Neo-colonial Kenya

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Africa World Press, of the Africa Research & Publications Project, 1983 - Social Science - 103 pages
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Declaration of War in Kenya
Detention in NeoColonial Kenya
Writing for Peace

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About the author (1983)

Novelist, playwright, and essayist, Ngugi wa Thiong'o was born in Kenya on January 5, 1938. He received a B.A. in English from Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda in 1963. He is Kenya's best-known writer and one of East Africa's most outspoken social critics. His first novel, Weep Not, Child (1964), was a penetrating account of the Mau Mau uprising (a tribal revolt that occurred in colonial Kenya) and was the first English-language novel by an East African. Two subsequent works, The River Between (1965) and A Grain of Wheat (1967), are sensitive novels about the Kikuyu people caught between the old and the new Africa. One of his major concerns has been the lack of reading materials in native African languages. In an attempt to bring literature to African peasants and workers, he wrote and produced the play I Will Marry When I Want (1977) in his native Kikuyu language. The play, which shows the exploitation of Kikuyu workers and peasants, attracted a large audience of poor Kenyans. It also led to Ngugi's arrest and imprisonment. After his release from prison, he went into exile and is currently living in the United States. His other works include Detained (1981); Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986); and Matigari (1987). He received the 2001 Nonino International Prize for Literature. In 2006, Random House published his first new novel in nearly two decades, Wizard of the Crow.

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