13 years after his last novel, Ngugi wa Thiong'o announces a new forthcoming novel

Ngugi wa Thiong'o, who turned 81 this month, is releasing another body of fiction.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o [Pambazuka News]

13 years ago, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o released Wizard of the Crow (Murogi wa Kagogo), which went on to become an international bestseller and has since been translated into 30 languages.

Now, after other memoirs and essays, the veteran author has announced a new novel, Kenda Muiyuru: Rugano Rwa Gikuyu na Mumbi, published in the author's traditional tongue Gikuyu, by East African Educational Publishers. It will also be translated into English by the author as The Perfect Nine: The Story of Gikuyu and Mumbi.

According to Peter Kimani for Kenya’s The Standard, the forthcoming novel is “a ground-breaking epic that subverts patriarchy and roots for social equity,” and could be the author's "most feminist novel."

From Kimani's description, the novel takes on objectification, gender, ethnicity and physical handicap, while also narrating in and about the author's nativity.

The Perfect Nine will be the author’s 10th fiction book and 34th overall body of work. His first book, Weep Not, Child, was released in English in 1964 and after a trailblazing career, detention without trial in 1977 and exile in 1982, he published Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, in which he declared his farewell to English language.

The Perfect Nine is another affirmation of Ngugi's decades-long commitment to writing in an African language.

An epic, the new novel is said to possibly be Ngugi’s shortest novel at 136 pages while also possibly being his most sophisticated, according to The Standard.

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