“Minutes of Glory” by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Thanks to The New Press and NetGalley for the advance review copy.

This is a series of well-written short stories, all by the same author. The stories are written from the perspectives of a wide range of different Kenyans ranging from beer hall waitresses to white colonialists. Some of the themes covered include the tensions between traditional beliefs and Christianity, Colonialism, the lives of women and the Mau Mau uprising.

There’s a lot to unpack in this collection. The stories have an otherworldly, folklore-esque atmosphere and I particularly enjoyed The Black Bird and Minutes of Glory as I felt they were the most evocative. The stories provide a glimpse into the culture of Kenya and the lives of the people who live there. I always find it quite tricky to review short story compilations because the quality can vary so much but the stories in this collection are of a consistently high quality throughout.

This book is a very solid, well-written and cohesive collection and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys short stories or reading African literature.

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