Ngugi wa Thiong’o

1938 -
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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Gikuyu pronunciation: [ᵑɡoɣe wá ðiɔŋɔ]; born James Ngugi; 5 January 1938) is a Kenyan author and academic who writes primarily in Gikuyu and who formerly wrote in English. He has been described as having been "considered East Africa’s leading novelist". His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children's literature. He is the founder and editor of the Gikuyu-language journal Mũtĩiri. His short story The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright, is translated into 100 languages from around the world.In 1977, Ngũgĩ embarked upon a novel form of theatre in his native Kenya that sought to liberate the theatrical process from what he held to be "the general bourgeois education system", by encouraging spontaneity and audience participation in the performances. His project sought to "demystify" the theatrical process, and to avoid the "process of alienation [that] produces a gallery of active stars and an undifferentiated mass of grateful admirers" which, according to Ngũgĩ, encourages passivity in "ordinary people". Although his landmark play, Ngaahika Ndeenda, co-written with Ngugi wa Mirii, was a commercial success, it was shut down by the authoritarian Kenyan regime six weeks after its opening.Ngũgĩ was subsequently imprisoned for over a year. Adopted as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, the artist was released from prison, and fled Kenya. In the United States, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, Irvine. He has also previously taught at Northwestern University, Yale University, and New York University. Ngũgĩ has frequently been regarded as a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He won the 2001 International Nonino Prize in Italy, and the 2016 Park Kyong-ni Prize. Among his children are the authors Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ and Wanjiku wa Ngũgĩ. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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