Ngugi wa Thiong'o Discusses Wizard of Crow

Outspoken, controversial, brilliant, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o is one of Africa's literary treasures. There will be a book signing and reception immediately following the discussion.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Tom Davis Founders' Room
James West Alumni Center
UCLA campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Ngugi wa Thiong'o will read from and discuss his latest novel, Wizard of the Crow.

In exile for more than twenty years, Ngugi wa Thiong'o has become one of the most widely read African writers of his time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in Wizard of the Crow is, in his own words, nothing less than "to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of 2,000 years of world history."

Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Ngugi wa Thiong’o is one of Africa's most accomplished and prominent novelists. He was born in 1938 in an area known at the time as the "White Highlands," part of the British-ruled Kenya Colony. He was educated at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and the University of Leeds. His experience of the Mau Mau War of Independence, which is the central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya, is a major theme in his early works. Weep Not Child, The River Between, and A Grain of Wheat, depict the conflict of cultures and the role of Christianity, English education, and the increasingly oppressive treatment of the Kikuyu and other Africans, whose land had been taken by the colonists. Ngugi choses to write in his native Kikuyu to help revitalize indigenous languages and his writings are critical of the corrupt politicians and ultimately led to his 1977 arrest, detention and eventual exile.

Wizard of the Crow
Commencing in “our times” and set in the “Free Republic of Aburlria,” the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank. Fashioning the stories of the powerful and the ordinary into a dazzling mosaic, Wizard of the Crow reveals humanity in all its endlessly surprising complexity.

Special Instructions

The James West Alumni Center is located next to parking structure 6 near the Ackerman Student Union. For campus map, directions, transportation options to UCLA, visit

Cost : Free and open to the public; parking is available in lot 6 for $8 - mention Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

For more information please contact:

James S. ColemanAfrican Studies Center

Tel: 310-825-3686

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Comparative Literature, French and Francophone Studies, Tusome Book Club