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It heralded a bolshie voice raging against the colonial mentality and racist idiocies that often remain unchallenged today. With the publication of this memoir, his first book, Wainaina continues his project of responding to these reductive perceptions and projections.
It is shockingly normal. Wainaina does not end up witnessing his mother being raped, his father beheaded and his childhood stolen by warlords.
Instead, the memoir explores the safe world of adolescence in his home town of Nakuru, beginning inwhen the author is 7, and taking us through to adulthood. His parents speak to each other in English.
Not surprisingly, he is attuned to the resonances of language from an early age. The foggy years of early childhood are rendered imaginatively, strangely, through his fascination with the ways in which experience can be transmuted through imagery, and the sounds and sensations of words: His face is a huge hole gaping at me, and the hole is a flat round net for him to blow hot air.
I stick my own head into his helmet and play Six Million Dollar Man. As soon as he is able, he loses himself in reading books which eventually develops into a love of writing and later an ambition to write books himself.
We learn of his special relationship with his much-admired, clever, younger sister, Ciru; experiences at boarding schools; the day he discovered the family servant, Cleophas, having sex with a woman in his private quarters; and the arrival of the rebellious, larger-than-life nanny, Wambui, aged 15, whose parents are potato farmers but who wants to one day be rich.
Snapshots of childhood experiences are set against the backdrop of the wider picture of social and state life in Kenya which takes in tribal nepotism and governmental corruption, but the touch is light-handed, the emphasis on the personal rather than the political.
Musings on history and colonialism also prevail and the influence of American culture is omnipresent. As Kenya implodes with ethnic clashes, electoral vote-rigging and economic meltdown, and South Africa is enduring civil unrest on the brink of the first universal election that will lead to the end of apartheid, he has his own breakdown.
He opts out of university and spends his days shut up in his room, reading: Very few memoirs or autobiographies by black Africans are published and this one is a radical departure from the usual tragic narratives. One hopes it will open the doors for other such books.
We need the full spectrum: She received an MBE in School-Age programs take place at schools, community centers, parks, daycare centers, and from family home providers.
extended day, out of school time, and latchkey kids. No matter what they are called, they One person can take the lead, but it will take collaboration to develop a quality. Introduction HOW TO WRITE GREAT ESSAYS vii I n your preparations for college, you may find yourself facing a handful of high-stakes essays.
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