Michael Holman

Testing Times

Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir

By

Harvill Secker 256pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Ngugi wa Thiong’o has been a rebel all his life, prickly and quixotic, resilient and brave, Kenyan by nationality but at heart a Kikuyu, fiercely proud to be a member of the country’s largest tribe.

Now seventy-two, the novelist and dramatist looks back, in this memoir, on a childhood spent on the front line of what has been called Britain’s ‘dirtiest colonial war’. The roots of just about every one of the causes that he has pursued for nearly fifty years can be found in its pages.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,
    • What did Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, James Boswell and Edmund Burke all have in common? Clare Bucknell reveal… ,