Author of the Month: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
The Kenyan novelist, essayist and academic Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, our Author of the Month for February, was born James Thiong'o Ngugi in 1938. Following several books written and published in English, in the late 1960s he renounced English as a literary language in favour of Kikuyu, at the same time renouncing the name James Ngugi for its Kikuyu equivalent and Christianity for an anticolonialist Fanonist Marxism. His uncompromising political views and outspoken criticism of British colonialism and of the Arap Moi dictatorship led to periods of imprisonment under both regimes as well as long periods of exile, some of it spent in London. Combining biting satire and high farce with a surreal vision that is always defiantly African in perspective, Ngũgĩ's works have marked him out as one of the world's most important living writers. You can read about some of them here, or come and meet them in the flesh on our dedicated Ngũgĩ table throughout February.