Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCI. Ngũgĩ burst onto the literary scene in East Africa with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda, in 1962, as part of the celebration of Uganda’s Independence. In a highly productive literary period, Ngũgĩ wrote additionally eight short stories, two one act plays, two novels, and a regular column for the Sunday Nation. One of the novels, Weep Not Child, was published to critical acclaim in 1964; followed by the second novel, The River Between (1965). His third, A Grain of Wheat (1967), was a turning point in the formal and ideological direction of his works. In 1967, Ngũgĩbecame lecturer in English Literature at the University of Nairobi. He taught there until 1977 while, in-between, also serving as Fellow in creative writing at Makerere (1969-1970), and as Visiting Associate Professor of English and African Studies at Northwestern University (1970-1971). Ngũgĩ ’s books have been translated into more than thirty languages and they continue to be the subject of books, critical monographs, and dissertations. Paralleling his academic and literary life has been his role in the production of literature, providing, as an editor, a platform for other people’s voices.

 

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