- ISBN 9789004174047 / 9004174044
- Title Writing for Kenya: The Life and Works of Henry Muoria
- Author Wangari Muoria-Sal and Bodil Folke Frederiksen
- Category African History
- Format Paperback
- Year 2009
- Pages 409
- Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
- Imprint Brill
- Language English
- Dimensions 160mm x 23mm x 239mm
Based on the Gikuyu-language pamphlet literature of the 1940s, the family history of the writer Henry Muoria, and a daughter's memory, this book illuminates the political challenges faced by Kenya's first nationalists and the domestic sacrifices that politics demanded
Henry Muoria (1914-97), self-taught journalist and pamphleteer, helped to inspire Kenya's nationalisms before Mau Mau. The pamphlets reproduced here, in Gikuyu and English, contrast his own originality with the conservatism of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first President. The contributing editors introduce Muoria's political context, tell how three remarkable women sustained his families' life; and remember him as father. Courageous intellectual, political, and domestic life here intertwine.
Throughout his extraordinary career at home and in exile, Henry Muoria recognized the hard toil of Muoria's writings, and the layered, sensitive, and intimate commentaries on them by the editors, convey a critical era of political and moral imagination almost lost to view - an era, in recent decades, almost unspoken and now, with this volume, so evocatively spoken. Writing for Kenya invites scholars to visit and revisit the intellectual, moral, and social worlds in which Africans lived and worked as the more visible struggles against empire unfolded. Professor David William Cohen University of Michigan This is a jewel in the crown of Brill's imaginative African Sources for African History series, showing yet again what a wealth of African local intellectual production remains to be recovered and made available to new audiences. Professor Karin Barber FBA University of Birmingham Writing for Kenya: the life and works of Henry Muoria, by Wangari Muoria-Sal et al. Brill, 2009. 409p bibl index afp (African sources for African history, 10); ISBN 9789004174047. Reviewed in 2010 apr CHOICE. 'This labor of great respect introduces readers to the life and works of Henry Muoria (1914-97), a homegrown, self-taught, Kenyan public intellectual. An erudite essay by John Lonsdale (Cambridge) introduces the text, which puts Muoria in historical and political context. This is followed with a biography by Bodil Frederiksen (Roskilde Univ., Denmark) and then a final personal memoir by Muoria's daughter Wangari Muoria-Sal, who grew up in London while her father was there in exile during the Mau Mau insurgency against British colonial rule. The second half of the book reproduces three of Muoria's pamphlets written in the mid 1940s, edited by Lonsdale and Derek Peterson (Cambridge). What Should We Do, Our People?, The Home Coming of Our Great Hero Jomo Kenyatta, and Kenyatta Is Our Reconciler, originally written in Gikuyu, are reproduced here, with English translations on alternate pages. In addition to the biographical sketches, the reproductions and translations make the book an important historical document that belongs in every serious African studies collection. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' — W. Arens, Stony Brook University
Wangari Muoria-Sal, Diploma in Business Studies (RSA) 1974, North London College. For over 30 years an administrator for international aid organisations in Kenya, the Ivory Coast and Germany, and now Team Leader of the Student Support Office at London's School of Oriental and African Studies. Bodil Folke Frederiksen is Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Roskilde University with a special interest in the cultural history of Kenya. She has published articles on colonial and present-day media, urban leisure, youth culture and the localisation of global popular culture in East Africa. John M Lonsdale, PhD (1964) in African History, University of Cambridge, has taught African history for 40 years and published on the social, religious and political history of Kenya, East Africa, and Africa. Derek R. Peterson is Senior Lecturer in African History at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of 'Creative Writing: Translation, Bookkeeping, and the Work of Imagination in Colonial Kenya' (Heinemann, 2004).