BookBrowse Reviews Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

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Wizard of the Crow

A Novel

by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Wizard of the Crow
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 784 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2007, 784 pages

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Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling, Wizard of the Crow is a masterpiece, the crowning achievement in Ngugi wa Thiong'o's career thus far. Novel

Ngugi wa Thiong'o is a Kenyan teacher, novelist, essayist, and playwright, whose writing spans the period from British colonialism to the current day. His early works were written in English, which he later abandoned in favor of Gikuyu, his native tongue.  Although he no longer writes in English he still translates his books into English himself.  Wizard of the Crow, a vast, sprawling, satirical allegory written in 6 parts, took about 10 years to write and two years to translate.  Critics knowledgeable of his writing have declared it to be his magnus opus.

Speaking in an interview last year Wa Thiong'o commented, "When people talk about Africa, they often only talk about it through one lens - so they blame its lack of progress on its people, or its landscape. In this book I wanted...

Did you know?
When Ngugi wa Thiong'o and his second wife, Njeeri, returned to Kenya in 2004, twenty-four years after he left fearing for his safety (see sidebar) it was for two happy reasons; to promote his new book Murogi wa Kagogo (Wizard of the Crow) and to formalize his marriage to Njeeri with a traditional wedding ceremony. He felt it safe to return as his old enemy, President Daniel arap Moi, who had been instrumental in throwing him into prison in 1977, had eventually been forced to step down from power in 2004 (although some of the habits of Aburiria's leader recall those of Daniel arap Moi, Thiong'o insists that he drew his character  from lots of Third World dictatorships including Mobutu, Idi Amin and Pinochet).

Their trip started wonderfully; wa Thiong'o describes his arrival at ...

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