A Grain of Wheat study guide contains a biography of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong. provide critical analysis of A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa’s great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat. A masterly story of myth, rebellion, love, friendship and betrayal from one of Africa’s great writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s A Grain of Wheat includes an introduction.

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No one is actually a hero. Amidst all the euphoria of independence celebrations are a few hints of disillusionment. In the village of Thabai, the men and women who live there have been transformed irrevocably by the uprising. The adversary and enemy is the wicked Haman. It’s not a fluffy or gentle read, bgugi for sure.

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Book ratings by Goodreads. Kf, women, starting with a central character named Mumbi, represent wisdom, sensibility, all the positive things you might be looking for. Oct 17, Amari rated it it was amazing. A Grain of Wheat. On that day, former resistance fighters General R and Koinandu plan on publicly executing the traitor who betrayed Kihika a heroic resistance fighter hailing from the village.


Turns out this is a complex story with a lot of names many of them similara lot of jumping wheaat and forth between past and present A story of Kenyan independence and the toll the preceding struggle took on people. They were all changed by the war for independence in different ways. I often found myself flipping back to earlier chapters to confirm that someone who appeared in more detail later in the book had in fact made a graih appearance in an earlier scene.


A Grain of Wheat is a novel about the inhabitants of a village in Kenya in in the last few days before the celebrations for Uhuru — that is, Kenyan independence.

Kieran Ah this is a rather old question A one-star, a two? It was not the Maxim gun. And I would have sold Kenya to the whiteman to buy my own freedom. I believe it is the ngugii revised in ; but how big were the changes? As we learn of the villagers’ tangled histories in a narrati Set in the wake of the Mau Mau rebellion and on the cusp of Kenya’s independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a group of villagers whose lives have been transformed by the — Emergency.

At the center of it all is the reticent Mugo, the village’s chosen hero and a man haunted by a terrible secret. This makes for a deep and psychological book, as we bring our own judgements and pre-conceptions grani the story and examine those as well. But it is full of hope. All this is told in flashback, so we gradually learn how characters became the way they are.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Jul 13, Neil rated it it was amazing. All the characters did things, or failed to do something they could have done, which they examine in the run-up to the independence celebrations. No one is left untouched. However, at school he also learned about the Gikuyu values and history and underwent the Gikuyu rite of passage ceremony.

He now writes in Gikuyu and translates into English, but this book is written in a very European style. To alleviate this, I would suggest keeping a basic list of characters as a helpful reference. Other books in this series. In other words, a story that requires more attention than I grzin it. I am glad to see that Penguin has published this book and hope that it’s not riddled with the same meaning-altering typos that the Heinemann is; this work deserves a well-edited publication.


There is no direct description, but from the songs and proverbs mentioned we can reconstruct a mythical past: Others see him as confidant, role model, hero.

May 30, J. I’m not a huge fan of nested stories–narratives breaking off into plot after plot–but Ngugi does this with such grace and darkness that you don’t even really notice until 40 pages later when it returns to the original conversation. A Grain of Wheat centres a political narrative about the struggle for independence and liberation in Kenya; about rebellion against British imperialism, and on this level it is searing, laying bare the injustice from the point of view of a richly varied cast of rural Kenyan people.

In the honest words of one freedom fighter, “Many of us talked like that because we wanted to deceive ourselves. I want to understand morel lesson for the novel Agrain of wheat. Not by a long shot.

The decision to lay or not lay your life for the people lies in the heart. I wish I had known to pay attention to the characters in the beginning, and to realize that they’d reappear in very different incarnations later in the novel.

Indeed, the dominant theme is betrayal, ubiquitous in all its meanings and ramificati Two Hearts are better than one? Additionally, he includes a white colonial perspective on Kenya’s independence, and while this view isn’t as clearly developed as the other perspectives, it is startling authentic and insightful.