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Pub Date 18th May 2021 UK and US

Unbury Our Dead With Song

by Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Book Description

Unbury our Dead With Song is a novel about four talented Ethiopian musicians – The Diva, The Corporal, the Taliban Man and Miriam, who are competing to see who can sing the best Tizita (popularly referred to as Ethiopian blues). Taking place in an illegal boxing hall in Nairobi, Kenya, the competition is covered by a US educated Kenyan journalist, John Thandi Manfredi, who writes for a popular tabloid, The National Inquisitor. He follows the musicians back to Ethiopia in order to learn more about the Tizita and their lives. As he learns more about the Tizita and the multiple meanings of beauty, he uncovers that behind each of the musicians, there are layered lives and secrets. Ultimately, the novel is a love letter to African music, beauty and imagination.


About the Author


Mukoma Wa Ngugi, assistant professor of English (ENGL).

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is an Associate Professor of English at Cornell University and the author of The Rise of the African Novel: Politics of Language, Identity and Ownership, the novels Mrs. Shaw, Black Star Nairobi, Nairobi Heat, and two books of poetry, Logotherapy and Hurling Words at Consciousness. He is the co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature and co-director of the Global South Project – Cornell.

"I wish my school had expended as much energy on making Nigerian languages available to us as they did French. I wish they had given us options. I might have left school proficient in another Nigerian language other than mine." @chikaunigwe on languages. https://t.co/maG9hOECbF

On our department’s name change to Literatures in English, we have now moved on from the symbolic to the structural and changed the degree requirements. The intellectual energy pulsating from our dept can power Ithaca town for a year– exciting times ahead! https://t.co/kiYEPHq6qX

"Solidarity is making common cause with a common humanity. Solidarity is a revolutionary act." - From a 2009 piece on how African countries responded to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, and largely failed the Palestinians with empty rhetoric. https://t.co/EZpDX3zVZH
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