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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o | Interview

Granta’s Deputy Editor Ellah Allfrey interviewed author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o at New Beacon Books about his childhood in rural Kenya and his piece in the new Granta - an extract of upcoming memoir Dreams in a Time of War.

A Rationalist in the Jungle

Héctor Abad

‘A pale-faced, near-sighted urbanite like me is nothing less than handicapped in the heart of the jungle.’

Typical Global and Typical Local Food

Héctor Abad

‘However, there are countries with an almost secret culinary culture, unknown to the immense majority of the world.’

Héctor Abad | First Sentence

Héctor Abad

‘Ever since this happened to me, I haven’t really believed in free will.’

Road to Chitral

Azhar Abidi

‘I wonder sometimes when this cycle of violence began. When was year zero?’

Sweet Truth

Walter Abish

‘I believe in the harmony of my friendship to Gisela rather than in the binding force that the institution of marriage is said to represent.’

But Why Write? The Writer-To-Be

Walter Abish

‘How to explain this resolve to write, this firm unwavering intent to become a writer on the part of someone who may not even really care for books?’

Furniture of Desire

Walter Abish

‘It took him only a moment to eliminate all doubt. The opportunity was ripe.’

Missing Out

Leila Aboulela

‘She had held the day up with pegs; not only her day but his too.’

Fork in the Road

Leila Aboulela

‘I left Sudan in 1987 – I was 23 years old and the idea of writing was the furthest thing from my mind.’

Abingdon Square

André Aciman

‘Your problem is not that you misread signs; it’s that you see them everywhere.’

Benjamin Pell Versus the Rest of the World

Tim Adams

‘You hear Benjamin Pell long before you see him.’

Operation

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘I like to think now that he knew how much I liked him, from the beginning, and that we were both equal participants in the ritual.’

On Monday Last Week

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘Kamara had always resented the glamour of half-castes.’

The Master

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘The Master was a little crazy; he had spent too many years reading books overseas’

Jumping Monkey Hill

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘His accent was what the British called posh, the kind some rich Nigerians tried to mimic and ended up sounding unintentionally funny.’

The Grief of Strangers

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘Chinechelum said little as her mother drove her to the airport.’

Last Man in Tower

Aravind Adiga

‘Perhaps that calm was all he had ever had’

Grand Rounds

Chris Adrian

‘I am more of a practice person than a theory person. Not that there’s anything wrong with theory people.’

Gifted

Segun Afolabi

‘The boys' eyes grazed the carpet and then each other guiltily. The youngest tried not to smile with shame.’

What Happened to Us

Humera Afridi

‘Trouble. There’s always trouble of some kind or other bringing the city to a standstill.’

A Gentle Madness

Humera Afridi

‘Pakistan is a nation of memory keepers. We feed our memories as if they are guests at tea, pay homage to them.’

Abbottabad Pastoral

Humera Afridi

‘Until now, I had never experienced a disaster, or witnessed mass suffering and death close up.’

Teresa

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘They rise up into the sky, like vultures.’

Cristhiano Aguiar | On Tour

Cristhiano Aguiar

‘Rabbits running across a campus and a beer named Hobgoblin: these are two of the topics noted in my small travel notebook.’

The Sins of the Mother

Jamil Ahmad

‘They are after us. I feel it in the air.’

Lovely Girls, Very Cheap

Decca Aitkenhead

‘A bar girl in Ko Samui is employed to attract customers. Almost every bar has at least one girl, and some of the larger bars have up to twenty’.

Baghdad Diary

Nuha al-Radi

‘Other countries do wrong: look what Russia did in Afghanistan, or Turkey invading Cyprus, or Israel taking over Palestine and Lebanon. Nobody bombed them senseless. They were not even punished. Perhaps we have too much history.’

Rabih Alameddine | Portrait of My Father

Rabih Alameddine

‘I come from a family that hangs pictures of family on its walls.’

The Provincials

Daniel Alarcón

‘I'd been out of the Conservatory for about a year when my great-uncle Raúl died.’

The Ground Floor

Daniel Alarcón

‘I met Darin Rossi standing in a thick, gooey pool of fake blood, on an early-December night in Los Angeles.’

The Inauguration

Daniel Alarcón

‘With few exceptions, presidents do not comment on or even recognize an individual loss like this one; they operate on another scale, and there is no room within their discourse for something so small.’

Lost in Translation

Daniel Alarcón

‘It’s about the music of it. “It’s Hollywood,” Mario said, and assured me the same is true of political speech-making.’

The Bridge

Daniel Alarcón

‘There was no question we were underwater.’

The King is Always Above the People

Daniel Alarcón

‘It was the year I left my parents, a few useless friends, and a girl who liked to tell everyone we were married, and moved two hundred kilometres downstream to the capital.’