Weep Not, Child is a moving novel about the effects of the Mau Mau uprising on the lives of ordinary men and women, and on one family in particular. Two brothers, Njoroge and Kamau, stand on a garbage heap and look into their futures: Njoroge is to attend school, while Kamau will train to be a carpenter. But this is Kenya, and the times are against them: In the forests, the Mau Mau is waging war against the white government, and the two brothers and their family need to decide where their loyalties lie. For the practical Kamau, the choice is simple, but for Njoroge the scholar, the dream of progress through learning is a hard one to give up.
Weep Not, Child is Ngũgĩ’s first novel, published in 1964.
“One of the signal novels to emerge from an artist listening to both the well of tradition and the troubled oracles of his time . . . In Weep Not, Child, Ngugi’s art is at its purest. To my mind it is classic Ngugi, his Romeo and Juliet, his tale of young love set against the backdrop of opposing families and a world seething with violence and injustice.”
—Ben Okri, from the Introduction