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Play now 28 mins

02/04/2010

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 02 April 2010

In today's Strand Bidisha talks to the great Kenyan writer and academic Ngugi Wa Thiong'o on the publication of the first volume of his memoirs, Dreams In a Time of War. Beginning in the late 1930s we hear about Ngugi's life as the fifth child of his father's third wife in a happy polygamous household overshadowed only by the wider events of the second world war in which members of his family fought for the British before then fighting against them in the Mau Mau independence movement.

Dreams in a Time of War reveals the early events that formed the ideas that Ngugi Wa Thiong'o has explored in books such as 'Weep not Child' in 1964 through to 'the River Between' 'A Grain of Wheat' and 'Petals of Blood' to the widely acclaimed 'Wizard of the Crow' published in 2006.

Now a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine and the director of that university's International Centre for Writing and Translation Ngugi Wa Thiong'o brings a Kenyan world view to events such as the 2nd World War which was a large factor in the African experience of the time, and particularly the Mau Mau movement , an independence movement classified by the British colonial power of the time as a psychological disease.

That's Ngugi Wa Thiong'o talking to Bidisha on today's Strand.

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