BIRTH OF A DREAM WEAVER: A Writer's Awakening by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
The New Press, October 2016
Birth of a Dream Weaver charts the very beginnings of a writer’s creative output. In this memoir of awakening, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o recounts the four years he spent in Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda: threshold years where he found his voice as a journalist, short story writer, playwright, and novelist, just as colonial empires were crumbling and new nations were being born—under the shadow of the rivalries, intrigues, and assassinations of the Cold War.
Haunted by the memories of the carnages and mass incarceration carried out by the British colonial-settler state in his native Kenya but inspired by the titanic struggle against it, Ngũgĩ, then known as James Ngugi, begins to weave stories from the fibers of memory, history, and a shockingly vibrant and turbulent present. What unfolds in this moving and thought-provoking memoir is both the birth of one of the most important living writers—lauded for his “epic imagination” (Los Angeles Times)—and the death of one of the most violent episodes in global history, and the emergence of new histories and nations with uncertain futures.