Aidan Hartley

Life at One Remove

In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir

By

Harvill Secker 240pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is Kenya’s most famous writer. His 1964 debut, Weep Not, Child, was the country’s first published novel. The River Between is on Kenya’s national syllabus. His early books were simple fables but they were good stories. As a boy, I remember Ngũgĩ stood out, together with Chinua Achebe and Meja Mwangi, as the best among the Heinemann African Writers that defined a generation of fiction coming out of the continent after the end of empire. This series, with its distinctive black-and-orange covers, was the only interesting reading material you could find on the half-empty shelves of Nairobi dukas that called themselves bookshops but mostly sold school texts and dust-coated magazines.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,