African Literature….Says Who? The Last Fifty Years with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Kenyan born and internationally acclaimed, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is the author of more major works of fiction, nonfiction, and drama than any African writer. His groundbreaking first novel Weep Not, Child recently celebrated fifty years, and he has since published over thirty works in English and his native language, Gikuyu. Undaunted for half a century, he has incisively and eloquently challenged an African status quo of political misrule and has been imprisoned for criticizing an authoritarian Kenyan regime. A peer of Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka, Ngugi was among the first to provocatively ask what constitutes an African literature, a question that haunts literary landscapes today. Harkening back to the epic dawn of African independence, the voice of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has been a constant African presence.

The Warscapes Public Lecture Series and New School’s Humanities Action Lab is honored to welcome Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o for an intimate conversation with poet, translator, and scholar Charles Cantalupo.

April 24th, 6pm, The New School, 63 Fifth Avenue, UL 105

Warscapes is an online independent journal edited by Commons member Bhakti Shringarpure.


  • Fred Opali says:

    “Ngugi was among the first to provocatively ask what constitutes an African literature”
    African Literature has undoubtedly taken its pride of place amongst World Literatures today. It has taken a comparatively long journey from the 1962 Makerere watershed conference (and Ngugi wa Thiong’o – then James Ngugi was there) to today when it is indeed recognised as an industry with clear distinctions. It has, indeed, grown from the days it was called “bantustan literature” that could be taught in universities only as ” an appendage to English Literature” to its own independence today.

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