Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening - Ngugi Wa Thiong'o

Staff Pick

A small scene in Birth of a Dream Weaver has the author refusing to drink a beer just because it is a thing to do when setting off to college.  The moment passes quickly, but it speaks to the Ngugi’s ability to resist pressures to conform and serves as a precursor to his subsequent ability to resist the dictates of those in power and resist pressure to compromise his writing.  This third volume of his memoirs covers his passage from village life to university, from British colonial subject to citizen of independent Kenya. Along the way he tells of the brutality of British rule, of the racism of a settler colony and the cost of that legacy in the corruption and violence of those who subsequently betrayed the promise of independence. Yet this is a writer’s memoir.  Ngugi’s first dramatic work provides a key to his later novels as he comes to see literature as a form of social engagement, as a celebration of the lives of those trod underfoot. He pierces through the veil by combining aspects of a European cultural inheritance with elements of traditional West African culture.  Ngugi’s trenchant criticism of Isak Dinesen, nuanced reading of Joseph Conrad, meetings with Langston Hughes and Chinua Achebe, appreciation of Whitman, frame his work in a larger literary context. Birth of A Dream Weaver is a celebration of the dreams that produce art that in turn produces dreams for a more just world.

Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening By Ngugi Wa Thiong'o Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620972403
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: New Press - October 4th, 2016