Wrestling with the Devil is the powerful chronicle of the year that brilliant novelist and memoirist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o spent in a Kenyan jail without charge. In resistance against the intended humiliation and degradation of his imprisonment, he wrote a novel on toilet paper, which became his classic Devil on the Cross. Susan Wyndham speaks to a writer long-favoured to win the Nobel Prize and whom author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has called “one of the greatest of our time”.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (International)
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist and currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California. He was born in Kenya in 1938, and educated at schools in Kenya and colleges in Uganda and Britain. He has taught in many universities including Yale and New York University. A UCI Medalist, Ngũgĩ is recipient of twelve Honorary Doctorates from universities in Africa, Europe, America, and New Zealand. He is also an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His books include the novels Wizard of the Crow, Petals of Blood, and A Grain of Wheat as well as the collections of essays Decolonizing the Mind and Something Torn and New. He is also the author of memoirs including In the House of the Interpreter and Wrestling with the Devil. His fable, The Upright Revolution, an English translation of the Gĩkũyũ, Ituĩka rĩa Mũrũngarũ, has been translated into 68 languages, making it one of the most translated stories in history.
Susan Wyndham (Australian)
Susan Wyndham is a journalist and writer. She is the former literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, author of Life in His Hands: the true story of a neurosurgeon and a pianist, and contributing editor of My Mother, My Father: on losing a parent. She is a regular book reviewer, host of literary events and awards judge.