One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

*A New York Times Notable Book*
*A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice*
*A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year*

Binyavanga Wainaina tumbled through his middle-class Kenyan childhood out of kilter with the world around him. This world came to him as a chaos of loud and colorful sounds: the hair dryers at his mother’s beauty parlor, black mamba bicycle bells, mechanics in Nairobi, the music of...

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One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir

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Overview

*A New York Times Notable Book*
*A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice*
*A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year*

Binyavanga Wainaina tumbled through his middle-class Kenyan childhood out of kilter with the world around him. This world came to him as a chaos of loud and colorful sounds: the hair dryers at his mother’s beauty parlor, black mamba bicycle bells, mechanics in Nairobi, the music of Michael Jackson—all punctuated by the infectious laughter of his brother and sister, Jimmy and Ciru. He could fall in with their patterns, but it would take him a while to carve out his own.

In this vivid and compelling debut memoir, Wainaina takes us through his school days, his mother’s religious period, his failed attempt to study in South Africa as a computer programmer, a moving family reunion in Uganda, and his travels around Kenya. The landscape in front of him always claims his main attention, but he also evokes the shifting political scene that unsettles his views on family, tribe, and nationhood.

Throughout, reading is his refuge and his solace. And when, in 2002, a writing prize comes through, the door is opened for him to pursue the career that perhaps had been beckoning all along. A series of fascinating international reporting assignments follow. Finally he circles back to a Kenya in the throes of postelection violence and finds he is not the only one questioning the old certainties.

Resolutely avoiding stereotype and cliché, Wainaina paints every scene in One Day I Will Write About This Place with a highly distinctive and hugely memorable brush.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Glimmering, strobe-lit language . . . a complex, cosmopolitan African experience too rarely depicted in books.” —Teju Cole, GQ’s Book of the Year Club

“Harried reader, I’ll save you precious time: skip this review and head directly to the bookstore for Binyavanga Wainaina’s standup-and-cheer coming-of-age memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place. Although written by an East African and set in East and Southern Africa, Wainaina’s book is not just for Afrophiles or lovers of postcolonial literature. This is a book for anyone who still finds the nourishment of a well-written tale preferable to the emptycalorie jolt of a celebrity confessional or Swedish mystery.” —Alexandra Fuller, The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555970345
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 7/19/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 317,823
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Binyavanga Wainaina is the founding editor of Kwani?, a leading African literary magazine based in Kenya. He won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing, and has written for Vanity Fair, Virginia Quarterly, Granta, and The New York Times. Wainaina directs the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Jaysoar

    Awesome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    H

    Silver Scale's Prophecy, Chapter 2
    By: Tommy Girl

    "Why are we going to the mountains?"
    Wing of the Injured Hawk's, her best friend, voice snapped Silver Scale out of her thoughts. "I had a dream," She began. "My mother and Blue Lake told me that we would be safe if we went to the mountains."
    "Oh. That makes sense." Hawk Wing turned to go, but Silver Scale held her back. "There's more." She let out a breath. "They said I have to lead the Pack."
    "Well that'll be easy," Hawk Wing said. "Everyone knows you, and we already think of you as our leader, even though you're not the Alpha. You were the one who smelled the fire first!"
    Silver Scale was stunned. Everyone thinks of me as the leader, she thought. I guess that part is already taken care of.
    "Silver Scale!" Once again, Hawk Wing's voice brought her out of her thoughts. "If you're the leader, how come you're at the back of the group?" Hawk Wing nudged her friend playfully.
    "Thanks, Hawk Wing. You're the best." Silver Scale and Hawk Wing walked to the front of the Pack, and the Pack's Alpha Female, Falling Acorn, let them by with a grateful nod.

    They were still far from the mountains, but they were closer than they expected when the sun set. "Let's stop and rest for the night," Silver Scale suggested. All the wolves were tired and hungry, and one had twisted her ankle, but other than that, they were fine.
    "I'll go and hunt, if anyone wants to come with," Hawk Wing called out. A few wolves got up, including Falling Acorn.
    A while later, the hunters came back with the limp body of a buffalo. The Pack dug in, then settled down to sleep. The flames were dying down, but Silver Scale knew that they would still be there in the morning, so she took the first watch.
    Everything was quiet, and Silver Scale felt like she was almost dowsing off when a strange scent wafted up to her nose, and she sprang up, alert for danger. Two large shadows stepped out from the trees, standing on their hind legs.
    Humans! Thought Silver Scale. She howled loudly to awake the Pack, not realizing that she had also alerted the humans. Just as the Pack was coming out from their makeshift shelter, one of the humans raised a stick-like thing and pulled a trigger. A loud boom rang out through the quiet darkness, and Eagle's Talon fell to the ground, limp and non-breathing.
    Red Sky, the Pack's healer, ran up to him, and called out, horrified, "He's dead!"
    We have to get out of here! Thought Silver Scale. They'll take us all! But how were they going to get out, since the humans were standing in front of the forest– the only cover– and the wolves were in a completely empty field?


    Thanks for reading! To be Continued

    Tommy Girl

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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