To Stir the Heart
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Bessie Head

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Ngugi wa Thiong'o

more about this author

To Stir the Heart

Four African Stories
Bessie Head & Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Introduction by Tuzyline Jita Allan

These powerful stories by two of Africa’s most renowned twentieth-century authors explore African cultures at the intersection of tradition and modernity, colonialism, and independence.

Botswana’s preeminent writer Bessie Head and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, “the most significant East African writer” (the New York Times), each use the politics and history of Africa in the midst of change as background for compelling stories of characters who, like their countries, are in search of their identity. In different ways, Head and Ngugi also chart the uneasy coexistence of men and women when their individual natures and desires conflict with societal expectations and customs.

"[Head and Ngugi] are both superb storytellers, yet each is highly original. Putting them in the same frame highlights the painful contradictions of African modernity yet also allows us to see the fresh intimacies and surprising connections that decolonization brings."

—Dorothy Driver, professor, University of Adelaide and University of Cape Town

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