Vendor- Thiong'o, Ngugi Wa
Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi
Thiong'o, Ngugi Wa
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s novels and memoirs have received glowing praise from the likes of President Barack Obama, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, and NPR; he has been a finalist for the Man International Booker Prize and is annually tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; and his books have sold tens of thousands of copies around the world.
In his first attempt at the epic form, Ngũgĩ tells the story of the founding of the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya, from a strongly feminist perspective. A verse narrative, blending folklore, mythology, adventure, and allegory, The Perfect Nine chronicles the efforts the Gĩkũyũ founders make to find partners for their ten beautiful daughters—called “The Perfect Nine” —and the challenges they set for the 99 suitors who seek their hands in marriage. The epic has all the elements of adventure, with suspense, danger, humor, and sacrifice.
Ngũgĩ’s epic is a quest for the beautiful as an ideal of living, as the motive force behind migrations of African peoples. He notes, “The epic came to me one night as a revelation of ideals of quest, courage, perseverance, unity, family; and the sense of the divine, in human struggles with nature and nurture.”
October 6, 2020
Praise for The Perfect Nine:
“Unfolding in wry and lyrical verse, The Perfect Nine tells a Homeric odyssey of the creation of the entire Gĩkũyũ people—a creationist myth, an adventure tale, and a family story, wherein the wives do not simply wait at home.”
“[The Perfect Nine] departs from the sprawl of his past novels into an engaging if slight lyrical epic. Combining Homeric verse with oral storytelling tropes—choruses, chants, songs—he retells the origin myth of the Gĩkũyũ, Kenya’s largest tribe. . . . Thiong’o’s fans will appreciate this.”
About the Author:
One of the leading writers and scholars at work today, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o was born in Limuru, Kenya, in 1938. He is the author of A Grain of Wheat; Weep Not, Child; and Petals of Blood, as well as Birth of a Dream Weaver, Wrestling with the Devil, and Minutes of Glory (all from The New Press). Currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, Ngũgĩ is recipient of twelve honorary doctorates, among other awards.