Kenya, 2007. Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His sister, Ajany, and their father bring his body back home, to a crumbling colonial house in rthern Kenya. But the peace they seek is hard to find: the murder has stirred deeply buried memories of colonial violence, of the killing-sprees of the Mau Mau uprising, and the shocking political assassination of Tom Mboya in 1969. When a young Englishman appears, searching for his missing father, ather story, of love, or at least a connection, begins. This is a spellbinding state of the nation vel about Kenya, showing how the violence of the past informs the violence and disorder of the present. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's memorable characters; Ajany's mother, deranged with grief and past violations, the Trader, embodying the timeless madic traders of Sudan, and Odidi himself, who transcended his past, came to success, and then a tragic end, are enchanting. Owuor reveals to us a new Kenya, a Kenya of bloodshed but also of modernity, suffused with a spirit world only half-remembered. This is a country where the characters listen so acutely for what is t said, and for the voices from the distant and recent past.
YVONNE ADHIAMBO OWUOR was born in Kenya. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, she has also received an Iowa Writer's Fellowship. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's and other publications, and she has been a TEDx Nairobi speaker and a Lannan Foundation resident. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.