Kenya, 2007. Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi.
His sister, Ajany, and their father bring his body back home, to a crumbling colonial house in northern Kenya.
But the peace they seek is hard to find: the murder has stirred deeply buried memories of colonial violence, of the killing-sprees of the Mau Mau uprising, and the shocking political assassination of Tom Mboya in 1969. When a young Englishman appears, searching for his missing father, another story, of love, or at least a connection, begins.
This is a spellbinding state of the nation novel about Kenya, showing how the violence of the past informs the violence and disorder of the present.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's memorable characters; Ajany's mother, deranged with grief and past violations, the Trader, embodying the timeless nomadic traders of Sudan, and Odidi himself, who transcended his past, came to success, and then a tragic end, are enchanting.
Owuor reveals to us a new Kenya, a Kenya of bloodshed but also of modernity, suffused with a spirit world only half-remembered.
This is a country where the characters listen so acutely for what is not said, and for the voices from the distant and recent past.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages
- Publisher: Granta Books
- Publication Date: 04/06/2015
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781783781317