A Grain of Wheat

A Grain of Wheat

At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village's chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret.

Reviews of the A Grain of Wheat

I think that for me, the book is not about Uhuru/Kenyan independence, or even the fight for it. (Or, rather, was that the traditional African culture, or how it became under the brutalization that was normalized under colonization?) "Colonial" sounds almost pretty to an American in the 21st century. What "The Emergency" (a dozen years of basically martial law - also known as the Mau Mau Uprising, or the Mau Mau Rebellion, or the Mau Mau Revolt - preceding Uhuru/Independence) did to the various characters in the novel, the ways in which it changed those that survived, is raw.

Yazar da bu geç kalmln farknda ama kader olan corafyadan kurtulu yok. Geç kalmln iki yan var; kitap Kenyann bamszln kazanmasndan 4 yl sonra, erken bir tarihte yazlyor. Yazar, kendi kiisel tarihinde temel olan bu dönemi anlatmak isterken bu geç kalmln kendi de farknda ve kurgu içinde bunu amaya çalm, ne kadar becerdii ise tartlr. O zaman öyle diyelim, geç kaldnn farknda olan bir yazarn anlatmak zorunda olduu bir kitap bu.

Kitab farkllatran sanrm konusu deil çünkü bu konu farkl corafyalarda darbe, içsava, terör gibi farkl yüzleriyle çokça edebiyat, sinema gibi sanatn duyaryla bizi yüzyüze getirdi.

He gives space to the character of each of the people in the village, revealing their motives in all their ambiguity and mystery.

The glorious and terrible moment of revolt, the conquest of independence, is already in the past. There is a frequent presence, in English, of local words, from "Uhuru", the swahili word meaning freedom, in particular the political independence of Kenya that is being achieved. The main characters (Mugo, Gikonyo, Karanja...) have all a difficult present and a richer past (if they are not already dead as Kihika, the hero of freedom). Particularly emerges the importance of Mumbi, who carries the name of the first woman according to the myths of gikuyu origins; so she represents the woman par excellence, tied to the protagonists of the liberation movement and disputed by several men. All this past and the wounds it left, the hopes of social and personal changes: everything is dancing around the few days of preparation and feast for independence.

AFRICAN BOOKS MARATHON BOOK: 4 TITLE: A Grain of Wheat AUTHOR: Ngg wa Thiongo COUNTRY: Kenya This was not an easy novel. The present time of A Grain of Wheat takes place in the 4 days before Kenya's independence from the British Empire in December 1963. I can't say what this upcoming independence will bring to Kenya (possible spoilers) but it's certainly not an idealised dream. In this political novel we see a group of people waiting for Uhuru (Freedom in Swahili) - Independence day and we travel through their memories in the past during the uprisings, and we see their experiences, their mistakes, their history, and through their eyes we see Kenya's history as a whole. The irony is that by using Kikuyu a native language of Kenya in a play instead of English, he was detained by those (lauded heroes) who were fighting the British for Kenyan Independence from the British Imperialism and the Colonial language English I'm interested in reading more by him.

It is a rallying cry for freedom fighters and the name given to the day when Kenya became an independent country in 1963. Viewed from a distance of years and oceans, the lead-up to independence and ultimate triumph over the colonialists is unequivocally a time of celebration for Kenyans. In the honest words of one freedom fighter, "Many of us talked like that because we wanted to deceive ourselves. The momentum builds as the day of Uhuru dawns and the murky events of the preceding years are gradually drawn into sharper focus, with all the suspense of a thriller that is magnificently captured by a long-distance race on the morning of Independence.

After imprisonment in 1978, Ngg abandoned using English as the primary language of his work in favor of Gikuyu, his native tongue. The transition from colonialism to postcoloniality and the crisis of modernity has been a central issues in a great deal of Ngg's writings. Ngg's family belonged to the Kenya's largest ethnic group, the Gikuyu. After receiving a B.A. in English at Makerere University College in Kampala (Uganda) in 1963, Ngg worked briefly as a journalist in Nairobi. As a novelist Ngg made his debut with WEEP NOT, CHILD (1964), which he started to write while he was at school in England. Ngg refers in the title to the biblical theme of self-sacrifice, a part of the new birth: "unless a grain of wheat die." The allegorical story of one man's mistaken heroism and a search for the betrayer of a Mau Mau leader is set in a village, which has been destroyed in the war.

  • English

  • Fiction

  • Rating: 3.82
  • Pages: 247
  • Publish Date: January 1st 1994 by Heinemann Educational Books
  • Isbn10: 0435909878
  • Isbn13: 9780435909871