James Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat

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The Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s third novel

A Grain of Wheat

was first published in 1967, four years after his country’s independence. A revised version with significant changes was published in 1986; by this date, Ngũgĩ had spent almost a year in detention in Kenya (in 1978) and had gone into political exile (in 1982).

A Grain of Wheat

is a transitional novel in Ngũgĩ’s work for a number of reasons. Firstly, the novel portrays a society in transition from anti-colonial resistance to the formation of an embryonic national society. Secondly, the novel follows on from Ngũgĩ’s two previous novels,

Weep Not, Child

(1964) and

The River Between

(1965) in combining individual psychological characterisation while also moving towards the diversity of voices and perspectives…

2435 words

Citation: Dodgson-Katiyo, Pauline. "A Grain of Wheat". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 October 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=29146, accessed 30 May 2024.]

29146 A Grain of Wheat 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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