369pp., paperback, Reprint, London, (2014) 2015
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's debut novel set in Kenya.
“This is a big, big unforgettable book, full of love and full of pain. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s prose can burn your skin off. Her narrative power tears through the landscapes of Kenya: life, cheap death, torture, love, friendship. Dust is a most visceral, moving novel about a family caught up in the smelt of a Kenya roiling inside the lusts and violences of its adolescence, determined to move past it. Epic in scope, Dust covers over sixty years of betrayals, love, mysterious caves, colonial brutalities, epic love, political betrayals. A crisis that brings the nation to the brink of self-destruction. You will meet a mother with an AK-47 you will never forget, a father shamed by a secret, betrayed by a nation. The varied landscapes of Kenya have never been more tenderly made alive. We gush and cry through the floods of rivers and rage that burst past civilities and boundaries; we melt at love that has to live with blood needlessly shed; we gasp at lives most unexpectedly saved. We can carry all of this unbearable world, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor proposes, because it is beautiful. This is the novel my twenty-first century has been waiting for, for our world in these seismic times.” —Binyavanga Wainaina, author of One Day I Will Write About This Place
“Dust is a fine, compassionate novel that relishes the complexity of human relations. It is written in a language that is often beautifully observant, and is alert in its insight and sympathy...The narrative skilfully shifts focus between stories without losing direction or tension...At the core of Owuor’s novel, disguised by its intensely poeticised evocation of experience and its desire to avoid an easy emotionalism, is a moral concern to forgive past wrongs. This is not to grant her creations an easy salvation, but it is the only way forward for them — and for Kenya.” The Guardian
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was born in Kenya. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, she has been the recipient of an Iowa Writers’ Fellowship. She is the author of The Dragonfly Sea. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.