ARCHIVED: Acclaimed African Writer, Ngugi wa Thiong'o to speak on Writing, Language and the State

Ngugi wa Thiong'oKenyan novelist, playwright, poet and critic Ngugi wa Thiong'o will discuss writing, language and the state, and read from his book, Wizard of the Crow, at Sarah Lawrence College on Tuesday, October 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Reisinger auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

One of the most widely read African writers, Ngugi hasbeen grappling with the politics of language in colonialism and national liberation for over forty years. As a Kenyan, he writes in his native Gikuyu, translating his works into English himself.

Wizard of the Crow, a sweeping satire laced with magical realism, is described by Ngugi as a “global epic from Africa.” Commencing in “our times” and set in the fictional “Free Republic of Aburiria,” Wizard of the Crow dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburirian people. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, the novel reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity.

“Globalization is a big drama, and I wanted to explore this phenomenon,” said Ngugi. “It produces a world characterized by a dangerously widening gap between the wealth of a small stratum and the poverty of the social majority within each of the nations of the Earth. This trend is accompanied by loss of voice for the impoverished majority.”

Ngugi wa Thiong'o is the author of, among other works, Petals of Blood, Weep Not Child, The River Between, A Grain of Wheat, The Devil on the Cross, and Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, now an essential text in post-colonial studies.

In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngugi wa Thiong’o is Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine.

For information please call (914) 394 2412.