One Day I Will Write About This Place Hardcover – 3 Nov 2011
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`A beguiling account and vibrant celebration of coming of age in post-colonial Africa' --Sunday Times
'An autobiographical portrait of the artist as a young man with brilliant commentary and critique' --Guardian
'Head directly to the bookstore for Binyavanga Wainaina's stand-up-and-cheer coming-of-age memoir' --New York Times
'Wainaina's personal odyssey is compelling and provides insights into the making of this talented writer'
'A sharply observed picaresque tale that delivers on the promise of his earlier writing'
'Witty, novelistic and dreamy, Wainaina's story is effectively the story of Kenya itself'
About the Author
Binyavanga Wainaina was born in Nakuru, Kenya in 1971. He is the founding editor of Kwani?, a leading African literary magazine based in Kenya. He won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing, and has written for Vanity Fair, Virginia Quarterly, Granta, and The New York Times. Wainaina directs the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College in upstate New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
Binyavang Wainaina's prose borders on magical, even genius in places, and with his marvellous eye for detail, he captures African life in all its animate and inanimate forms sensitively and beautifully. I was mesmerised by his vivid imagination, and the way he analyses and interprets his world through letter sounds and word meanings.
Wainaina describes an Africa seeped in western cultural influences, which surprised this reader, but which was ultimately an honest and welcome alternative to the more familiar descriptions of African life and experience.
Wainaina has a rich talent, skilfully manipulating language to produce an enjoyable story which illustrates the beauty of the written word; definitely worth a read!
I particularly enjoyed the early years as it reminded me so much of my childhood growing up in Uganda. I could so identify with his obsession with books, Michael Jackson, Boney M and the jheri curl. He is very open and honest about his struggle to find himself and he recounts vividly the political and social struggle taking place in Africa. My only criticism and it is only a small one is that he does not attempt to explore deeper the reasons for his retreat. I found his use of words (kimay, accordion) absolutely fascinating. The extract below where he is describing a choir singing illustrates his brilliance;
"When the mouth is released, the choirs bare their teeth, polite hotel slices of breakfast pawpaw, to look extremely happy. Proud. Pretty. Promising. Eyebrows subside.
My lips close down firmly on each other. Imp. Imprison. Implode. Implant. Impede. After each mp, there is a little explosion of air outward because your lips purse as if prepared to rein in words after each p. Improve. Impress."
The book is littered with such gems, Binyavanga is a master wordsmith.
All in all this is a great read, you definitely get a sense of Africa that you don't normally see on TV or even read in other books coming out of the continent. I would recommend to everyone.
I would love to read more by this author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written and revealing about the recent history of Kenya and the difficulties of every day life there through that period.Published 4 months ago by Rachel Mary Gallagher
If you're interested in learning a thing or two about Kenya, and I'm not talking about Maasais and Safaris, read this.Published 8 months ago by Shayera
Fantastic observations. Sometimes the simplest observations are the most devastating.
I hope there are more books to come. Very moving.
Everything has been better than I expected. Very good and especially fast. The prices were really clear and I did not have any problem.Published on 14 Mar. 2014 by Deborah Lazzarin