Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book Discussion

Friday, May 9, 7:10pm to 8:30pm
Dr. Kaung’s Book Shelf: Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'a

Free and open to the public.

From Powell's Books: In exile now for more than 20 years, the author has become one of the most widely read contemporary African writers. This volume is an ambitious attempt to sum up the Africa of the 20th century in the context of two thousand years of world history, exploring themes of globalization, greed, power, love, corruption, and resurrection.

"The fictional Republic of Aburiria chronicled in this sprawling, dazzling satirical fable is an exaggeration of sordid African despotism... Kamiti, an archetypal New Man with two university degrees and no job prospects, sets up shop as a wizard; with the help of Nyawira, member of both an underground dissident movement and a feminist dance troupe, he dispenses therapeutic sorcery to a citizenry that finds witchcraft less absurd than everyday life. Kenyan novelist Thiong'o (Petals of Blood) mounts a nuanced but caustic political and social satire of the corruption of African society, with a touch of magical realism — or, perhaps, realistic magic, as the wizard's tricks hinge on holding a not-so-enchanted mirror to his clients' hidden self-delusions. The result is a sometimes lurid, sometimes lyrical reflection on Africa's dysfunctions — and possibilities." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

The translation, by the author himself from his native Gikuyu, is fluid and manages to convey a vivid sense of African storytelling. Recommended for all collections of literary fiction." Library Journal

"[W]ith Wizard of the Crow, Ngugi has flown over the entire African continent and sniffed out all of the foul stenches rising high into the air: complacency toward despotism, repression of women and ethnic minorities, widespread corruption and...a neocolonial system in which today's lending banks and multinationals have supplanted yesterday's European overlords." New York Times

"[T]his unforgettable love story reveals the magic power of the ordinary in people and in politics." Booklist