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Weep Not, Child (Penguin African Writers) [Paperback]

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o , Ben Okri

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Product details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (5 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143106694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143106692
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 633,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

The great Kenyan writer's powerful first novel 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. First published in 1964, "Weep Not, Child" is a moving novel about the effects of the infamous Mau Mau uprising on the lives of ordinary men and women, and on one family in particular.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading for class 7 Oct 2013
By Landi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had to purchase this book for one of my classes. The story held my attention easily. It me think outside of my own circumstances, and I appreciate that about a book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad but great 22 Aug 2013
By FaMe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I did my final paper for my college English class, and I chose to do it on this book because this is as real as it gets, reading it was like watching live images in my head, what a great book, incredibly sad, but great.
4.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age in a divided African land 7 April 2014
By Steven Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Weep Not, Child is the coming of age story of a young man named Njoroge, whose promising future is threatened by civil unrest that brings divisions within his own community and family.

The setting is the author's native Kenya during the 1950s at a time when the native African population was pressing for equality and eventual independence from the British colonial overlords. At the beginning of the novel there is talk of a general strike to protest the low wages for African workers. When this is put down, guerrilla warfare gradually develops, and the uprising becomes known as the Mau Mau Rebellion.

As the more prosperous black families side with the white government, communities are torn apart. Njoroge and his childhood friend Mwikaki, his landlord's daughter, find themselves on the opposite side of the dispute in the manner of a Romeo and Juliet. And when his elders are implicated in the Mau Mau movement, Njoroge's cherished hopes for an education are threatened.

Weep Not, Child is a rather grim story of the fragility of the individual confronted with entrenched powers and prejudices. In some situations it is impossible to be simply an innocent bystander. One thing that surprised me in this novel was the impact of World War II on East Africa. Apparently the casualty rates among Kenyan soldiers serving in the British army were so excessive as to be a major cause of resentment in the post-war years, while military service gave a generation of Kenyans the training and confidence they needed to rise up against the British.

This is a powerful and memorable novel. My only criticism would be that it rushes too quickly through so many events, telling a story in fewer than 150 pages that should have warranted a fuller treatment.
5.0 out of 5 stars classic 19 Nov 2013
By BronxRev - Published on Amazon.com
Great book. Classic, even. it's short and to the point, but I recommend it for anyone. Also, it's heart wrenching, but I'm of the point that most good books are.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 11 Mar 2013
By Caroline Lim - Published on Amazon.com
The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya during the 1950s is featured in this story of 2 brothers, Njoroge and Kamau. Their lives and that of their family and many others are thrown into chaos when their loyalties are strained. Do they support the Mau Mau or do they support the colonial government. As the violence escalates, dreams and ideals are shattered as are families.
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