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Ngugi wa Thiong’o Follows Dreams in a Time of War with In the House of the Interpreter

Dreams in a Time of WarIn an interview with Africa Book Club’s Daniel Musiitwa, acclaimed Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o has revealed that his brand new book, In the House of the Interpreter, will be published by Harvill Secker in September this year.

According to booktrade.info, In the House of the Interpreter, which follows on from Dreams in a Time of War, deals with “the author’s schooldays in 1950s Kenya as the fight for independence was intensifying”:

Liz Foley at Harvill Secker has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights to the second volume of Ngugi wa Thiong’o's memoir, In the House of the Interpreter, in a deal with Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Gloria Loomis.

In the House of the Interpreter will be published in September 2012, and will cover the author’s schooldays in 1950s Kenya as the fight for independence was intensifying. It follows on from Dreams in a Time of War, published by Harvill Secker in 2010, which began in the late 1930s and explored Ngugi’s childhood in Kenya under British colonial rule against the backdrop of World War II.

A Grain of WheatThe River BetweenWizard of the CrowWeep Not, ChildPetals of Blood

Often considered a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, wa Thing’o is held in high regard as one of East Africa’s most influential writers. His most notable works include Weep Not Child (1964), The River Between (1965), A Grain of Wheat (1967) and Petals of Blood (1977). In the interview with Musiitwa, wa Thiong’o describes what it was like writing during the 1960s and which of his works he considers the most significant:

What was it like to start out as a writer, back when you first began writing?

In the 1960′s there weren’t many publishers interested in African writing. One wrote and sent to publishers mostly based in UK at the time. Heineman’s African Writers Series helped. In my case, the manuscript that became The River Between was initially written for a novel writing competition organised by the East African literature Bureau with monies from Rockfeller Foundation. I won the first prize. Five hundred shillings. In today’s terms that amounts to five dollars.

How would you describe your approach to writing? What motivates you to write?

I want to express myself. I want to tell a story.

Book details

Photo courtesy Abagond

 

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