This remarkable and symbolic novel centers around Wariinga’s tragedy and uses it to tell a story of contemporary Kenya faced with the “satan of capitalism.” Ngugi has directed his writing even more firmly towards the commitment that he shows in Writers in Politics and Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary.
The novel was written secretly in prison on the only available material — lavatory paper. It was discovered when almost complete and unexpectedly returned to him on his release.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and essayist from Kenya whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in Irvine, California, where he is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.