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A Grain of Wheat study guide contains a biography of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong. provide critical analysis of A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa’s great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat. A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa’s great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat includes an introduction.

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I’ve discovered that I’m strongly drawn to literature examining important historical moments from the point of view of fictional characters, and I’m a strong believer that in impossibly inhumane situations like this one, almost any personal choice or action is in fact a forced one, a reaction — ggrain, as such, can be forgiven or pardoned on some level if not condoned.

This is an absolutely brilliant piece of literature describing life in a Kenyan village in the aftermath of the war with Britain in the s, where each villager has their own secret about their actions during the violence, slowly tearing everyone apart. In the village of Thabai, the men and women who live there have been transformed irrevocably by the uprising. Ways of Seeing John Berger.

Particularly emerges the importance of Mumbi, who carries the name of the first woman according to the myths of gikuyu origins; so she represents the woman par excellence, tied to the protagonists of the liberation movement and disputed by several men. De todos modos es desgarradora.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

As I began the novel, it didn’t seem special. I went into this novel comparing it ngjgi Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apartwhich in spite of its many rave reviews I found to be relatively underwhelming. This article needs additional citations for verification.


A rival of Gikonyo, in love with Mumbi, he is the friend of the colonialists, in order to save his own hide.

A one-star, a two? It was written while he was studying at Leeds University [1] and first published in by Heinemann. The decision to lay or not lay your life for the people lies in the heart. At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village’s chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret.

It was the first novel in English to be published whest an East African author. As with Cyprus, the heroes are about to experience independence.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. They were all changed by the war for independence in different ways. Ngugi is one of my favorite authors. The second half was quite good, though not so much that I wanted to read the first half all over again. Rejecting the colonial language has obvious political and social significance, but to switch from a language with hundreds of millions of speakers to one which is a minority language even in Kenya is still a striking decision.

The war is won, rgain at the cost of lives and dreams lost. All the characters did things, or failed to do something they could have done, which they examine in the run-up to the independence celebrations. All this is told in flashback, so we gradually learn how characters became the way they are. Based on the first couple pages I’d pegged it as a slog, and not expecting to enjoy it but feeling I should read it anyway for my world fiction challenge, read nearly half the book in a crowded place with divided attention.

The other great thing is that it takes place after the uprising once the British are leaving, when the telling of the story and oc claim to hero status are as important as the truth of what happened. Turns out this is a complex story with a lot of names many of them similara lot of jumping back and forth between past and present, a lot of connections between the characters that come clear only as the story goes on.


The characters in the book are all dealing with the aftermath of the Mau Mau rebellion, having lost family members or having suffered detention, forced labour and torture.

I read recently a story about the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was not the Maxim gun. It’s set in the background of Mau Mau rebellion. Kenyan teacher, novelist, essayist, and playwright, whose works function as an important link between the pioneers of African writing and the younger generation of lf writers.

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A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o | : Books

or Thiong’o dashes this picturesque vision with images of grief-stricken mothers, of relationships thwarted by war and women selling their bodies for the price of a loaf of bread, of the weight of betrayal wrung by the instinct of self-preservation and the gulf that can open between two people caught in the cyclone of events whirling during the Emergency years.

Gikonyo’s marriage to the beautiful Mumbi was destroyed when he was imprisoned, while her life has been shattered in other ways. It’s the ideal for which the freedom fighters long for and are prepared to sacrifice their lives for. Sep 01, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: I can’t believe this is the first book I’m reading by an African writer. The characters are complex and feel real. Karanja seems to profit from the situation.