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The latest addition to the Penguin African Writers Series: the great Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful fictional critique of capitalism
One of the cornerstones of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross was written in secret, on toilet paper, while Ngugi was in prison. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature.
NGUGI WA THIONG’O is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and essayist from Kenya whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. He lives in Irvine, California.
BINYAVANGA WAINAINA has written for the New York Times, Granta, and Vanity Fair and directs the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College. He won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing and was named by Time magazine one of the Time 100: The Most Influential People in the World in 2014.