Recounts the story of the author's childhood, covering his early years in World War II-era Kenya as the fifth child of a third wife, his thirst for learning that singled him out, and the political struggles that shaped his life.
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 colourful sounds: the hair dryers at his mother's beauty parlour, black mamba bicycle bells, mechanics in Nairobi, the music of Michael Jackson - all punctuated by the infectious laughter of his brother and sister. 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, Wainaina takes us through his school days, his failed attempt to study in South Africa, a moving family... continue
Novelist Ngugi wa Thiong'o has been a force in African literature for decades: Since the 1970s, when he gave up the English language to commit himself to writing in African languages, his foremost concern has been the critical importance of language toc
This astonishing, devastating debut novel, riven through with mystery and magic, tells the story of a lonely girl living in a small African town and her struggle to free herself from her mercurial, charming mother. Ayosa is a wandering spirit—joyous, exuberant, filled to the brim with longing. Her only companions in her grandmother’s crumbling house are as lonely as Ayosa herself: the ghostly Fatumas, whose eyes are the size of bay windows, who teach her to dance and wail at the death news; the Jolly-Annas, cruel birds who cover their solitude with spiteful laughter; the milkman, who never gre... continue
The Nobel Prize–nominated Kenyan writer’s powerful first novel Two brothers, Njoroge and Kamau, stand on a garbage heap and look into their futures: Njoroge is to attend school, while Kamau will train to be a carpenter. But this is Kenya, and the times are against them: In the forests, the Mau Mau is waging war against the white government, and the two brothers and their family need to decide where their loyalties lie. For the practical Kamau, the choice is simple, but for Njoroge the scholar, the dream of progress through learning is a hard one to give up. The first East African novel publish... continue
Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent a long time in the Dadaab refugee camp. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp isn't always easy. The hunger is constant . . . but there's football to look forward to, and now there's a chance Omar will get to go to school . . . With a heart-wrenching fairytale ending, this incredible true story is brought to life by Victoria's stunning illustrations. This book perfectly depicts life in a refugee camp for 8-12 year olds.