• " Ce livre est mon adieu à l'anglais ": Ngugi wa Thiong'o, romancier kényan, n'y va pas par quatre chemins, il décide que désormais, il n'écrira plus qu'en kikuyu. Pour un auteur dont les oeuvres sont largement diffusées dans le monde anglophone, c'est une lourde décision, dont Décoloniser l'esprit, écrit en 1986, explique les raisons. L'origine remonte à une "Conférence des écrivains africains de langue anglaise", organisée en 1962, en Ouganda : elle excluait les auteurs écrivant dans l'une ou l'autre des langues africaines, et le jeune Ngugi se posait alors la question : "Comment a-t-il été possible que nous, écrivains africains, fassions preuve de tant de faiblesse dans la défense de nos propres langues et de tant d'avidité dans la revendication de langues étrangères, à commencer par celles de nos colonisateurs ?" A travers son parcours personnel de romancier et d'homme de théâtre, Ngugi wa Thiong'o montre que le rôle donné aux littératures orales africaines, la vision de l'Afrique comme un tout et non comme un découpage issu de la colonisation, la référence aux traditions de résistance populaire, tout cela qui passe par la langue est la condition nécessaire pour décoloniser l'esprit. Ngugi wa Thiong'o est actuellement professeur et directeur de l'International Center for Writing and Translation à l'université de Californie à Irvine.

  • World-renowned Kenyan novelist, poet, playwright, and literary critic Ngugý wa Thiongo gives us the second volume of his memoirs in the wake of his critically acclaimed Dreams in a Time of War.
    In the House of the Interpreter richly and poignantly evokes the authors life and times at boarding school--the first secondary educational institution in British-ruled Kenya--in the 1950s, against the backdrop of the tumultuous Mau Mau Uprising for independence and Kenyan sovereignty. While Ngugý has been enjoying scouting trips, chess tournaments, and reading about the fictional RAF pilot adventurer Biggles at the prestigious Alliance High School near Nairobi, things have been changing rapidly at home. Poised as he is between two worlds, Ngugý returns home for his first visit since starting school to find his house razed and the entire village moved up the road, closer to a guard checkpoint. Later, his brother Good Wallace, a member of the insurgency, is captured by the British and taken to a concentration camp. As for Ngugý himself, he falls victim to the forces of colonialism in the person of a police officer encountered on a bus journey, and he is thrown into jail for six days. In his second year at Alliance High School, the boarding school that was his haven in a heartless world is shattered by investigations, charges of disloyalty, and the politics of civil urest.
    In the House of the Interpreter hauntingly describes the formative experiences of a young man who would become a world-class writer and, as a political dissident, a moral compass to us all. It is a winning celebration of the implacable determination of youth and the power of hope.

  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o was born the fifth child of his father's third wife, in a family that included twenty-four children born to four different mothers. He spent his 1930s childhood as the apple of his mother's eye, before attending school to slake what was then considered a bizarre thirst for learning.

    As he grows up, the wider political and social changes occurring in Kenya at this time begin to impinge on the boy's life in both inspiring and frightening ways. Through telling the story of his grandparents and parents, and of his brothers' involvement in the violent Mau Mau uprising, Ngugi deftly etches a tumultuous era, capturing the landscape, the people and their culture, and the social and political vicissitudes of life under colonialism and war.

  • Set in the fictional Free Republic of Aburiria, Wizard of the Crow dramatises with searing humour and piercing observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburirian people. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, Ngugi wa Thiog'o reveals humanity in all its surprising intricacy.



    Informed by richly enigmatic traditional African storytelling, Wizard of the Crow is a masterpiece and a major achievement in Ngugi wa Thiong'o's extraordinary and brave career.

  • A 50th-anniversary edition of one of the most powerful novels by the great Kenyan author and Nobel Prize contender A legendary work of African literature, this moving and eye-opening novel lucidly captures the drama of a people and culture whose world has been overturned. The River Between explores life in the mountains of Kenya during the early days of white settlement. Faced with a choice between an alluring new religion and their own ancestral customs, the Gikuyu people are torn between those who fear the unknown and those who see beyond it.
    For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • As a young student, internationally renowned author Ngugi wa Thiong'o found his voice as a playwright, journalist and novelist, writing his first, pivotal works just as the countries of East Africa were in the final throes of their independence struggles.For Ngugi, an ambitious student leaving Kenya for the first time, the prestigious Makerere University embodies all the potential and excitement of the early 1960s. Campus is a haven of opportunity for the brightest African students, a meeting place for great thinkers and writers from all over the world, and its alumni, including Milton Obote and Julius Nyerere, are filling Africa's emerging political and cultural positions. Despite the challenges he faces as a young black man in a British colony, it is here that Ngugi begins to write, weaving stories from the fibres of memory, history and a shockingly turbulent present.Birth of a Dream Weaver is a moving and thought-provoking memoir of the birth of one of the most important writers today, and the death of one of the most violent periods in global history.

  • The great Kenyan writer and Nobel Prize nominee Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s powerful fictional critique of capitalism One of the cornerstones of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross was written in secret, on toilet paper, while Ngũgĩ was in prison. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Novelist Ngugi wa Thiong'o has been a force in African literature for decades: Since the 1970s, when he gave up the English language to commit himself to writing in African languages, his foremost concern has been the critical importance of language to culture. In Something Torn and New, Ngugi explores Africa's historical, economic, and cultural fragmentation by slavery, colonialism, and globalization. Throughout this tragic history, a constant and irrepressible force was Europhonism: the replacement of native names, languages, and identities with European ones. The result was the dismemberment of African memory.Seeking to remember language in order to revitalize it, Ngugi's quest is for wholeness. Wide-ranging, erudite, and hopeful, Something Torn and New is a cri de coeur to save Africa's cultural future.

  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o is renowned for his political novels and plays, yet he honed his craft as a short story writer. First published in 1975, Secret Lives and Other Stories brings together a range of Ngugi's political short stories. From tales of the meeting between magic and superstition, to stories about the modernising forces of colonialism, and the pervasive threat of nature, this collection celebrates the storytelling might of one of Africa's best-loved writers.

  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o's powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978. A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya's Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper - it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross.Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi's unforgettable account of the drama and challenges of living under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He captures not only the pain caused by his isolation from his family, but also the spirit of defiance and the imaginative endeavours that allowed him to survive.

  • World-renowned Kenyan novelist, poet, playwright, and literary critic Ngugý wa Thiongo gives us the second volume of his memoirs in the wake of his critically acclaimed Dreams in a Time of War.
    In the House of the Interpreter richly and poignantly evokes the authors life and times at boarding school--the first secondary educational institution in British-ruled Kenya--in the 1950s, against the backdrop of the tumultuous Mau Mau Uprising for independence and Kenyan sovereignty. While Ngugý has been enjoying scouting trips, chess tournaments, and reading about the fictional RAF pilot adventurer Biggles at the prestigious Alliance High School near Nairobi, things have been changing rapidly at home. Poised as he is between two worlds, Ngugý returns home for his first visit since starting school to find his house razed and the entire village moved up the road, closer to a guard checkpoint. Later, his brother Good Wallace, a member of the insurgency, is captured by the British and taken to a concentration camp. As for Ngugý himself, he falls victim to the forces of colonialism in the person of a police officer encountered on a bus journey, and he is thrown into jail for six days. In his second year at Alliance High School, the boarding school that was his haven in a heartless world is shattered by investigations, charges of disloyalty, and the politics of civil urest.
    In the House of the Interpreter hauntingly describes the formative experiences of a young man who would become a world-class writer and, as a political dissident, a moral compass to us all. It is a winning celebration of the implacable determination of youth and the power of hope.

  • Un regard pertinent et engagé sur l'Afrique par l'un de ses plus grands écrivains.

    Depuis plus de soixante ans, Ngugi wa Thiong'o écrit avec courage sur l'histoire,

    les défi s et les perspectives des sociétés africaines contemporaines, au risque de sa

    liberté puisqu'il fut emprisonné pendant un an au Kenya et l'objet de tentatives

    d'assassinat par la suite.

    Pour une Afrique libre réunit des essais écrits durant ces dernières années, traitant

    de thèmes chers à l'auteur : la nécessité de l'estime de soi chez les Africains, trop

    souvent enclins à mépriser leur propre culture ; le non-sens des étiquettes tribales,

    à l'origine accolées par les étrangers aux peuples africains pour mieux les diviser ;

    la mondialisation économique qui place l'Afrique sous l'emprise du fondamentalisme

    capitaliste ; le rapport de l'écrivain africain à sa ou ses langues ; l'esclavage

    et son héritage toujours vivace dans les sociétés contemporaines ; le rôle de l'intellectuel

    au XXIe siècle ; l'Afrique confrontée aux menaces d'armes de destruction

    massive ; l'écriture comme instrument de paix...

    Ces textes sont portés par la lucidité de Ngugi wa Thiong'o : le continent est

    aujourd'hui affaibli par les puissances occidentales qui aiguisent ses rivalités

    internes pour mieux le maintenir en guerre et lui vendre des armes, qui pillent ses

    matières premières à vil prix et l'empêchent de prendre son indépendance économique.

    Pourtant, l'Afrique, dotée de ressources humaines et matérielles colossales,

    peut reprendre le contrôle de son destin, mais il est indispensable qu'au préalable

    les dirigeants écoutent leurs peuples, respectent leurs cultures et leurs ambitions,

    obtiennent leur confi ance.

    Une grande voix africaine retentit dans ce livre : sans concession, elle trace des

    pistes d'espoir.

empty