By Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Set within the wake of the Mau Mau uprising and at the cusp of Kenya's independence from Britain, A Grain of Wheat follows a gaggle of villagers whose lives were reworked via the 1952–1960 Emergency. on the middle of all of it is the reticent Mugo, the village's selected hero and a guy haunted by way of a bad mystery. As we examine of the villagers' tangled histories in a story interwoven with fable and peppered with allusions to real-life leaders, together with Jomo Kenyatta, a masterly tale unfolds within which compromises are compelled, friendships are betrayed, and loves are demonstrated.
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I perceived the yellow beaks, the bulging eyelids of two tiny larks, and the blue lines of their wing quills. The indefinite movement was the swift rise and fall of the brown fledged backs, over which waved long strands of fine down. The two little specks of birds lay side by side, beak to beak, their tiny bodies rising and falling in quick unison. I gently put down my fingers to touch them; they were warm; gratifying to find them warm, in the midst of so much cold and wet. I became curiously absorbed in them, as an eddy of wind stirred the strands of down.
They were lying deeper in the wood, where the fern was highest. He did not reply, for it was pleasant to lie stretched thus and to gaze up through bracken fronds at the distant treetops and the pale blue sky, and feel the exquisite pleasure fade. " Propped on his elbows, the young man looked down anxiously. All his roughness and pertness had gone, and he only wanted to know whether he had been a success. "Yes ... " "Lovely? " He beamed, prodding gently with his stomach. " Conway guessed that he was vain, the better sort often are, and laid on the flattery thick to please him, praised his comeliness, his thrusting thrashing strength; there was plenty to praise.
He began to play with the dog, and directly they were rolling on the fine turf, the laughing, expostulating, naked man and the excited dog, who thrust his great head onto the man's face, licking, and, when flung away, rushed forward again, snapping playfully at the naked arms and breasts. At last George lay back, laughing and panting, holding Trip by the two forefeet, which were planted on his breast, while the dog, also panting, reached forward his head for a flickering lick at the throat pressed back on the grass, and the mouth thrown back out of reach.
A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o