Overview

The best-known novel by the great Kenyan writer


Set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya's independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a group of villagers whose lives have been transformed by the 1952–1960 Emergency. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village's chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret. As we learn of the villagers' tangled histories in a narrative interwoven with myth and peppered with allusions to ...

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A Grain of Wheat

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Overview

The best-known novel by the great Kenyan writer


Set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya's independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a group of villagers whose lives have been transformed by the 1952–1960 Emergency. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village's chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret. As we learn of the villagers' tangled histories in a narrative interwoven with myth and peppered with allusions to real-life leaders, including Jomo Kenyatta, a masterly story unfolds in which compromises are forced, friendships are betrayed, and loves are tested.



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101584859
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 449,673
  • File size: 617 KB

Meet the Author

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.

Abdulrazak Gurnah is the author of the Booker Prize–shortlisted novel Paradise, among other novels. He was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and teaches English literature at the University of Kent in England.

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.

Abdulrazak Gurnah is the author of the Booker Prize–shortlisted novel Paradise, among other novels. He was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and teaches English literature at the University of Kent in England.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2006

    A revealing story

    Centered on the pre-Independence Kenyan struggle between the Mau Mau liberation fighters and the British colonial government, A GRAIN OF WHEAT gives a portrayal of the struggle that few writers have ever depicted. One gets a good picture of the Mau Mau fighters, the attitude of the Colonialists, their the detention camps, the nature of the war, the bloody encounters, the ruthlessness of some of the soldiers of Colonial army and the direction to independence for the African continent. Betrayal, hopes and dreams, horrors and loss are all parts of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2005

    Colonization and Revolution

    As an American, I was first introduced to this segment of history by Achebe's Things Fall Apart, which was so profound that I sat in stunned silence for the duration of the flight I was on when I read it. Ngugi continues that tradition, showing the deep rifts caused in native society by the presence of white Europeans. It also adds something else, though, and this addition is what, in my mind, makes this novel so much more than just a commentary on colonization. It adds, in the main character, a question of when a revolution represents the people, and when it represents only a few. The book rightly criticizes European influences, but it also points out something more universal: revolutions can alienate revolutionaries from people just as much as oppressors from oppressed. This is a profound novel on many levels and everyone should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Exus

    I bbt

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Centered on the pre-Independence Kenyan struggle between the Mau

    Centered on the pre-Independence Kenyan struggle between the Mau Mau liberation fighters and the British colonial government, Grain of Wheat gives a portrayal of the struggle that few writers have ever depicted. One gets a good picture of the Mau Mau fighters, the attitude of the Colonialists, their the detention camps, the nature of the war, the bloody encounters, the ruthlessness of some of the soldiers of Colonial army and the direction to independence for the African continent. Betrayal, hopes and dreams, horrors and loss are all parts of the story.

    Like Triple Agent, Double Cross, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Disciples of Fortune, King Leopold's Ghost, we learn that the tragic nature of this story reveals the futility of conflicts which in the end produces no winners, because humanity loses when the majority of the people emerge from a war scarred for life, having lost the innocence that epitomizes the freedom of the soul.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Sparrow

    He was gone from the bed when she awoke.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Tom

    Tom come to ur room and ill show u

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    September

    Up

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Septembers room

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2005

    Kenyan independence

    As westerners we have heard much about the holocaust and the Second World War. Many books were written recording these events. Yet how much have we heard about the colonization in Africa? How many books were written describing this? And what was the African point of view of this event that affected them so much, as told in the book `A Grain of Wheat¿? Is it true that we only know that some explorers swept across the African continent, ruling some area¿s, and the result was trade, wealth and new things discovered? It is a shame that people outside Africa, westerners and others, hear so little about colonization and especially the effect of it on the Africans. A Kenyan man called James Ngugi, author of the book `A Grain of Wheat¿, wrote about a country called Kenya, located in East Africa, describing the events around its independence. He wrote how they once lived `peaceful¿, keeping in mind that tribal clashes did occur before, and lived their everyday life. But when the `whites¿ settled, things changed. Family relations worsened and people experienced much hurt. This detailed book also touched on concentration camps and fighting forces. Not only that, but love affairs, deceit, pain and horror were also things found in this story. Good relations between colonists and Kenyans did occur, but rarely. Before I started reading this book, I only had limited understanding of the colonization of Africa, its effect on Africa and its effect on the Africans themselves. Through the reading of this book, I came face to face with the events that happened around colonization. I experienced the horrors that the colonists inflicted on Africans, though this did not lead me to hate my race. I came to know about the cruelty of man and his passionate desire for power. I highly recommend teenagers and adults alike to read this book, doing so not only for pleasure and out of interest, but also to `look at the other side of the story¿, to learn something new and something...big.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2004

    Neo-Colonialism

    Because the white man left does not mean that he has stopped colonizing us as an African people. We still do everything, schooling, governance in the model of the European colonists. Ngugi was Thiongo captures this very brilliantly in 'A Grain of Wheat'. He explores the dificulty and hardship that we as Africans still face in the era of post-colonialism.

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