THE PERFECT NINE, the epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi, translated from the Gĩkũyũ original by the author

: wa Thiong'o (N.)

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227pp., paperback, London 2020


First published in 2018 in Kenya as Kenda Mũiyũru.

A novel in verse about the founding of Kenya's Gĩkũyũ people.

“In this sinuous retelling by the great Kenyan writer, the founding myth of the Gĩkũyũ people emerges as an epic poem rivalling the Iliad in body count and surpassing it in whimsy.” The New Yorker

“A beautiful work of integration that not only refuses distinctions between ‘high art' and traditional storytelling, but supplies that all-too-rare human necessity: the sense that life has meaning.” The Guardian

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o was born in Limuru, Kenya, in 1938. He is the author of A Grain of Wheat, Weep Not, Child, Petals of Blood, Birth of a Dream Weaver, Wrestling with the Devil and Minutes of Glory. He is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.