Ngugi is one of the most important novelists on the contemporary world stage, and someone whose name has for many become synonymous with cultural controversy and political struggle.
Patrick William's lucid analysis offers the most up-to-date study of Ngugi's writing, including his most rcent collection of essays. Focusing on important aspects of Ngugi's work which critics have hitherto ignored, and drawing on a wide range of relevant theoretical perspectives, this study examines the growing complexity of Ngugi's accounts of the history of colonised and post-colonial Kenya. The cultural and anti-imperial politics on Ngugi's experimentation with language and form in both novel and drama is discussed, including the important role of culture as a source of historical memory and strategies of resistance for oppressed groups.
All the novels and the major plays are studies in detail, and in addition a substantial chapter examines Ngugi's contribution in the area of non-fiction. This has become an increasingly important aspect of his work in recent years, and he has become almost as well known for Decolonising the Mind and its controversial championing of the use of indigenous languages as for his novels.
'Although the critical literature of Ngugi wa Thiong'p has swelled impressively in recent years, no fresh introductory survey has been published for more than decade. Patrick Williams deft new study therefore represents a welcome addition. This study represents a very useful jumping off point for today's students wishing to engage the writing of this hugely consequential African writer and intellectual.'
Professor Neil Lazarus, University of Warwick -- .