Anticipating … “The Perfect Nine” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o


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I stumbled across this a couple of days ago, and couldn’t resist passing on the good news! Writing in Kenya’s premier newspaper, The Standard, Peter Kimani announced earlier this month that 2019 will see the return of Ngugi wa Thiong’o as a writer of fiction.

Although Ngugi has been furiously publishing works of non-fiction over recent years, the world hasn’t been treated to a new work of fiction from his pen since that magisterial work of imagination known to most as Wizard of the Crow (2006).

Fret no more! For the last three years, Ngugi, who turned 81 at the beginning of the year, has spent his time carefully crafting 136 pages of what is perhaps best described as a wholesale reimagining of an old Gikuyu fable – a reimagining that moves the reader’s interest away from the main protagonists of the fable (Gikuyu and his wife, Mumbi) and resituates it on their last-born daughter, Warigia. Ngugi’s epic is one that puts an unwed mother front and centre…

The new novel is titled Kenda Muiyuru: Rugano Rwa Gikuyu na Mumbi and is to be published by East African Educational Publishers shortly. Ngugi himself is conducting the translation of this text into English, and the title of this version of the tale is slated to be The Perfect Nine: The Story of Gikuyu and Mumbi.

I’d like to say that you can pre-order your copy by clicking on the image above, but you can’t – not yet. I’ll let you know anticipated publication dates when things become a little clearer!