Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Alexis Wright, two giants of contemporary literature, share creative visions that encompass millennia. For more than a half-century, Kenyan author Ngũgĩ has been creating a highly-influential body of work ranging from novels, stories, plays, and memoir to radical essays on literary decolonization and language. His latest work, The Perfect Nine, marks something of a departure: a novel-in-verse that reimagines the origin story of the Gikuyu people of Kenya, blending folklore, mythology and allegory. Alexis Wright, a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria, is a towering figure herself, whose 2007 Miles Franklin prize-winning novel, Carpenteria, remains a landmark in Indigenous literature. The Swan Book, her most recent novel, is set in the distant future, with Aboriginal peoples living in an environment altered by climate change, drawing powerfully from myth, legend and fairy tale. Moderated by Caro Llewellyn.
This program is part of the International Programming of the Brooklyn Book Festival, made possible with the support of public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and with special appreciation to City Council Member Stephen Levin.