This month we will be discussing ‘A Grain of Wheat’ by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
It is 1963 and Kenya is on the verge of Uhuru – Independence Day. The mighty British government has been toppled, and in the lull between the fighting and the new world, colonized and colonizer alike reflect on what they have gained and lost. In the village of Thabai, the men and women who live there have been transformed irrevocably by the uprising.
When Gikonyo and Mumbi get married, Gikonyo is sent to detention. When he comes back after six years, Mumbi had his rival’s child. They cannot find the words to talk about the past, and a wall is created between them. As events unfold, compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed and loves are tested.
Kenyan novelist and playwright Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the author of Weep Not Child (1964), The River Between (1965), and Petals of Blood (1977). Ngugi was chair of the Department of Literature at the University of Nairobi from 1972 to 1977. He left Kenya in 1982 and taught at various universities in the United States before he became professor of comparative literature and performance studies at New York University in 1992.
London edition of the African Reading Group (ARG!) is there to help readers keep up with the explosion of literature coming out of Africa and its diaspora. We are a ‘new voice’ reading group, focusing on short story collections, novels and some critical or non-fiction. From time to time we may go back to a classic of African literature — but the emphasis is on the new.
The books will be available at meetings to buy from Book and Kitchen. During our holiday times or if you are unable to purchase the books in advance – you can also purchase through Paypal. For ARG members we offer a reduced shipping and handling fee of £0.75 only. Find out more.