Celebrating Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Today we celebrate, with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, his 85th birthday, as one of Africa’s most articulate social critics and creator of a wonderful world of literature. Ngũgĩ is a Kenyan author and academic who is considered East Africa’s leading novelist. His 1964 title Weep Not, Child was the first major novel in English written by an East African. In Decolonising the Mind (1968) he argues that African-language literature is the only authentic voice for Africans. Ngũgĩ then stated his own intention of writing only in Kikuyu or Kiswahili from that point on.

Learn more about Ngũgĩ and his work in today’s blog post. Enjoy any of these titles at a 45% discount and free delivery by entering code BB123 at the checkout. Offer is valid until 31 January, 2023.

Decolonising the Mind

The Politics of Language in African Literature

A collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity, that advocates for linguistic decolonization. Ngũgĩ describes the book as ‘a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism, and in teaching of literature…’. Split into four essays the book offers an anti-imperialist perspective on the destiny of Africa and the role of languages in combatting and perpetrating imperialism and neo-colonialism in African nations.

“Many of the ideas are familiar from Ngũgĩ’s earlier critical books, and earlier lectures, elsewhere. But the material here has a new context and the ideas a new focus. This leading African writer presents the arguments for using African language and forms after successfully using an African language himself. -” Anne Walmsley, THE GUARDIAN

Paperback, 128pp
9780852555019, June 1986
$23.95 / £15.99
Offer Price: $13.18/£8.80

In the Name of the Mother

Reflections on Writers and Empire

Essays reflecting Ngũgĩ’s continuing interests and enthusiasms, with an original choice of writers. He makes us look again at their novels to address his lifelong concerns with the ways to independence, the meanings of colonialism and the takeover by neo-colonialism, and the functions of literature in political as well as literary terms. They will appeal not only to his international band of supporters but also introduce his views to young people discovering African and Caribbean literature.

“This is vintage Ngũgĩ, plain-spoken, intensely committed, and passionate about the values of freedom and struggle in which he still profoundly believes.”
Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford

Paperback, 158pp
9781847010841, September 2013
$23.95 / £15.99
Offer Price: $13.18/£8.80

Moving the Centre

The Struggle for Cultural Freedoms

Ngũgĩ advocates a cultural shift to redress the last 400 years of domination by a handful of western nations. He is concerned with moving the centre in two senses – between nations and within nations – in order to contribute to the freeing of world cultures from the restrictive walls of nationalism, class, race and gender

“The compelling emotional force of this book emerges from Ngũgĩ’s convincing emphasis on a truly universal human culture and his continuing ability to personalize large political issues and to persuasively politicize his own personal experiences.” CHOICE

Paperback, 208pp
9780852555309, January 1993
$25.95 / £17.99
Offer Price: $14.28 / £9.90

Writers in Politics

A Re-engagement with Issues of Literature and Society

This book reflects many of the concerns found in Decolonising the Mind and Moving the Centre.

“… from the 1970s on, Ngũgĩ’s commitment has never faltered, and his involvement has only become more outspoken and uncompromising, and one function of the re-edition is to bring earlier material more in line with the developments in his political stance since the appearance of the original in 1981. -” Patrick Williams, JOURNAL OF MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES

Paperback, 192pp
9780852555415, January 1997
$25.95 / £17.99
Offer Price: $14.28 / £9.90

Other books about Ngũgĩ you may be interested in:

Purchase any of these books at a 45% discount and free delivery using code BB123. Offer is valid until 31 January, 2023.

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