BOOK DETAILS

Series: Penguin African Writers Series (Book 5)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics (April 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143107364
ISBN-13: 978-0143107361

 

 

 

DEVIL ON THE CROSS
One of the cornerstones of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross was first published in Gikuyu in 1980 and in English in 1982. The novel was written in secret, on toilet paper, while Ngũgĩ was in prison. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature.
REVIEWS

“One of our century’s great novels.”
Tribune (UK)

“Ngugi is the most celebrated of African novelists. What he offers is nothing less than a new direction for African writing.”
British Book News  

“Striking.”
The Guardian (London)

“Bold and disquieting and, like most great novels, wonderfully immersive. So immersive, in fact, that I dreamed about it. Devil on the Cross argues quite convincingly—so convincingly that, for a moment, I became a character in the novel, or perhaps Ngugi became the author of my life—that all of us are living within a dream. . . . This is not a well-behaved novel, the kind you might read with your book club while discussing character motivation over tea and biscuits. This is a novel that wants you to act. . . . It’s the perennial question: What is the point of literature? . . . I can’t say that Ngugi’s intention was to mount a defense of literature when he wrote this, but I can tell you what this novel did to me. He taught me that it’s time for us to build new dreams.”
—Tolpe Folarin, Los Angeles Review of Books

 

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