Devil on the Cross

Devil on the Cross


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The great Kenyan writer and Nobel Prize nominee’s novel that he wrote in secret, on toilet paper, while in prison—featuring an introduction by Namwali Serpell, the author of the novel The Old Drift

One of the cornerstones of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross is a powerful fictional critique of capitalism. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be exploited by her boss and later by a corrupt businessman. As she struggles to survive, Wariinga begins to realize that her problems are only symptoms of a larger societal malaise and that much of the misfortune stems from the Western, capitalist influences on her country. An impassioned cry for a Kenya free of dictatorship and for African writers to work in their own local dialects, Devil on the Cross has had a profound influence on Africa and on post-colonial African literature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143107361
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Series: Penguin African Writers Series , #5
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 340,015
Product dimensions: 5.05(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and essayist from Kenya whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. He lives in Irvine, California.

Namwali Serpell (introducer) has won the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. The author of the novel The Old Drift, she was born in Zambia and now lives in San Francisco, where she is an associate professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“One of our century’s great novels.” Tribune
“Ngugi is the most celebrated of African novelists.  What he offers is nothing less than a new direction for African writing.” British Book News  
“Striking.” The Guardian

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Devil on the Cross 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first, i did not utterly comprehend the point of the the novel. However, it is later I understood the author's objective. I truly recommend this novel for anyone seeking the reason why there are disastrous problems in post-colonial Kenya as well as the rest of Africa.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An astute criticism of modern Kenya. Whlile the primarily focus is the satirical identification of corruption, insightful (clever) recognition of numerous problems in the post-colonialperiod are incorporated. While Ngugi¿s opinions seem to be offered [indirectly], comprehensive dialogues provide different perspectives. He offers persuasive debate concerning western prototypes deteriorating African culture (language/self image), predicaments of women, detrimental effects of colonial and neo-colonial oppression and exploitation, media perversion, etc. Recent portrayals of `Mau Mau¿ as a movement for nationalistic unity and defense against a tyrannical ruling minority, rather than as a terrorist movement, are long overdue. A fine political and social parody that retains the intensity of genuine issues. Ngugi¿s African perspective is refreshing and attachs credibility to problems historically ignored or misrepresented. The novel engages readers by invoking critical thinking. Pay attention to the small things, while enjoying witty sarcasm and candor. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book went in to the very core of the unexplored. He dicusses matters which are off-limits and produced an intensenovel
mpho3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Witty, sarcastic take on corruption, tyranny, and the aftermath of colonialism.
MsNikki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Did it for Sixth Form, I believe. Was a difficult book to read, because of the bloody, violent imagery to describe Western capitalism's impact on Africa. But the metaphors are accurate, a cautionary tale too many are ignoring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Devil on the Cross by Ngugi wa Thiong¿o gives the reader a vivid idea of the country of Kenya and the way in which its¿ people live. Reading this book gives you a good understanding of what Kenya is going through currently and what the average life of a Kenyan would be in the Kenya of today. While I was reading the book I sometimes found it hard to read because of what the book says about the corruption that goes on in Kenya. The story takes place in Nairobi, the capitol of the country. Wariinga is the main character of the book. As the story takes you through her life, describing all that she has had to deal with and go through throughout her life, you will get an understanding of the life of a Kenyan. Wariinga grows up in the small town of Ilmorog and does her best to study hard at school. Later in Nairobi when she is grown up she is trying to make a living on her own. However, she is fired from her job and kicked out of her apartment. She then finds herself going back to Ilmorog. There she gets mixed up in the politics of corrupt businessmen. This book is a great description of the life and culture of Kenyans today. The author of the book is a man who has been beaten up and terrorized for what he has to say about his country. However, one should keep in mind that the book was written from one man¿s perspective and point of view, and that he is coming from a culture full of mysticism and witchcraft. It is easier to read the book if you have an understanding of the culture and language in Kenya before you begin. If you are looking for a good book to read that is not your average novel and which will tell you about the culture of an amazing country, you should read this book.