Peter is a novelist, journalist and scholar. The order in which these occupations surfaced might be debatable, the order of their priority is Peter's prerogative. Fact is, he is currently a faculty member at Aga Khan University in Nairobi. As Kenyan literary icon Ngugi wa Thiong'o, who Peter considers to be his mentor, predicted that his future would lie between hard covers, he had to prove him right with Dance of the Jakaranda (2018), a fine work of historical fiction. Peter also writes non-fiction, poems and plays.
What you can't miss:
Set in the shadow of Kenya's independence from Great Britain, Dance of the Jakaranda reimagines the special circumstances that brought black, brown and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of the nation. With its riveting multiracial, multicultural cast and diverse literary allusions, it could well be a story of globalization. Yet it is firmly anchored in African oral storytelling.
This is the story of Muriuki, a young man from a Kenyan village who leaves him home and back-breaking job on a coffee plantation for the city, to pursue wealth, and happiness with his childhood sweetheart Mumbi. But life is not straightforward for the young lovers who become steeped in the quagmire of Kenyan politics, its economic hardships and brutality, and the racism and persistent inequities of the post-colonial and global society.
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Disclaimer: Books by our festival guests will be available during and after the event from our partnering bookshop, Prestige Bookshop