Wizard of the Crow

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, 2006 - Fiction - 768 pages
From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic--a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngugl wa Thiong'o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim inWizard of the Crowis, in his own words,nothing less than "to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history." Commencing in "our times" and set in the "Free Republic of Aburlria," the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic,Wizard of the Crowreveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity. Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling,Wizard of the Crowis a masterpiece, the crowning achievement in Ngugl wa Thiong'o's career thus far. From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jonfaith - www.librarything.com

Watching ANC supporters vandalize a portrait of Jacob Zuma on the BBC this evening, there is something tragic about Wizard of the Crow: how can the novel be so historic and so prescient? Zuma's supporters may find my conclusion disrespectful. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jnwelch - LibraryThing

This sprawling satirical story is set in the fictitious African country Aburiria, which I understand resembles author [[Ngugi wa 'Thiong'o]]'s home country Kenya when it was under a dictatorship. The ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

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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