Accepted paper:

Migrating to and from memoirs: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's wrestling with the devil as a historical account of postcolonial/neocolonial Kenya

Author:

Edona Llukaçaj

Paper short abstract:

This paper, after establishing three main phases in Ngugi wa Thiongo's career, focuses on his memoirs, especially Wrestling with the Devil (2018), maintaining that the story of this writer and activist sheds light on the historical developments of Kenya, highlighting its historical veracity.

Paper long abstract:

In his last novel Exit West, Mohsin Hamid would state "We are all migrants through time," reminding his reader of the quintessential element of life. In compliance with one of the implications of this claim, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, probably the most renowned living African writer, seems to have gone once more through a time voyage. Indeed, although Ngugi's focus in his writings has always been the problems inherited from colonization in his native Kenya and the whole African continent, aiming factual decolonization and development through the decolonization of the mind, the genres and modes in which he has contributed are multiple. While the beginning of his career was marked by fictional works partly-rooted in personal experiences and written in English, during the following years Ngugi's fiction was written in his native Gikuyu to fictionalize his vociferously defended ideas for the actual progress of the African continent and people. During this last decade, Ngugi seems to have entered a new phase in his career, an autobiographical one. Taking these in consideration, this paper, after establishing three main phases in Ngugi's career aims to look at his memoirs, especially Wrestling with the Devil (2018), focusing on how the story of this writer and activist sheds light on the historical developments of Kenya and maintaining the historical veracity of his story.

panel P19
African colonization and decolonization in li̇terature