The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Section Menu

Conversations on Translations with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

On October 28 at 5:00 pm our online ‘Conversations on Translations’ series will feature Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.  Ngũgĩwill be discussing his most recent work, The Perfect Nine, a reimagining in epic poetry of his Gikuyu people's origin story. Originally written and published in Gikuyu as Kenda Muiyuru: Rugano Rwa Gikuyu na Mumbi (2019), the book was translated into English by Ngũgĩ for its 2020 publication. In March 2021, The Perfect Nine was the first work written in an indigenous African language to be longlisted for the International Booker Prize, with Ngũgĩ becoming the first nominee as both author and translator of the same book. The conversation will center around this book and the related themes of writing in an indigenous African language and self-translation.