First Edition of James Ngugi's The River Between; Lengthily Inscribed by Him
The River Between.
Ngugi, James (Ngugi wa Thiong’o).$1,500.00
Item Number: 45012
London: William Heinemann, 1965.
First edition of Ngugi’s third novel. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, “Reaching into the heart of the people of Makuyu and Kameno. Ngugi wa Thiong’o.” The words in the inscription are from the final text of this novel. Some foxing to the page edges, very good in a very good dust jacket with some closed tears. Jacket design by Brian Russell. Rare and desirable signed and inscribed.
The River Between tells the story of the separation of two neighboring villages of Kenya caused by differences in faith set in the decades of roughly the early 20th century. The bitterness between them caused much hatred between the adults of each side. The story tells about the struggle of a young leader, Waiyaki, to unite the two villages of Kameno and Makuyu through sacrifice and pain. It is set during the colonial period, when white settlers arrived in Kenya's "White Highlands", and has a mountain setting. Ngugi wa Thiong'o was born in Limuru, Kenya, in 1938, was educated at the Alliance High School, Kikuyu, at Makerere University, Uganda and at the University of Leeds. His novel, Weep Not, Child, was published in 1964 and this was followed by The River Between (1965), A Grain of Wheat (1967), and Petals of Blood (1977). Devil on the Cross (1980), was conceived and written during the author's one-year detention in prison, in Kenya, where he was held without trial after the performance by peasants and workers of his play Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want). This was his first work to be published in his own language, Gikutu, and then translated into English and many other languages.