In the Name of the Mother

September 2013
158 pages
21.6x14 cm
James Currey
BISAC LIT004010, LIT004190, LIT020000

In the Name of the Mother

Reflections on Writers and Empire

Ngugi wa Thiong'o

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Alongside the impact of his early novels and plays, and his more recent memoirs, these essays give new insights into Ngugi's and other writers' responses to colonialism - there is new material here for students of literature, politics and culture.
Renowned worldwide, as novelist and dramatist, Ngugi wa Thiongo's contributions to the body of critical writing on African literature, politics and society have been highly significant. His best known critical work is Decolonising the Mind, which since publication in 1986 has profoundly influenced other writers, critics, scholars and students.
These latest essays reflect Ngugi's continuing interests and enthusiasms. His choice of writers is original. 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. They will also introduce his views to young people discovering African and Caribbean literature.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. Ngugi is renowned for his essays, including the seminal Decolonising the Mind (James Currey 1986); his plays, which led to his detention in Kenya; his novels - the most recent works being The Wizard of the Crow (2007, translated into English from Gikuyu) and his memoirs Dreams in a Time of War and In the House of the Interpreter

East Africa [Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda]: EAEP

Keywords: African Studies

Table of Contents

Birth of a Literature: Heinemann, African Writers Series & I
In the Name of the Mother: Lamming & the Cultural Significance of 'Mother Country' in the Decolonisation Process
Freeing the Imagination: Lamming's Aesthetics of Decolonisation
Nation in the Underground: Alex la Guma In the Fog at the Seasons' End
Dialectics of Hope: Sembene's God's Bits of Wood
Voices & Icons: The Neocolonial in Emergent African Cinema
Birth of a Nation: Narrating the National Question in Pepetela's Mayombe
Orature, Class Struggle & Nationalism: Vieiera's Luaanda & Domingos Xavier
Writing a National Agender: Patriarchy as Domestic Colonialism in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions


This is vintage Ngugi, 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

This collection is various and wide-ranging. Above all it is demonstrably the product of a mind which has remained determinedly open and receptive to the ideas and fortunes of contemporaries, throughout the turbulent years of his own misfortunes and triumphs. Keith Sambrook

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