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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 will be giving a talk/workshop on the tense relationships and beautiful solidarities between Africans and African Americans at @JMU's African, African American & Diaspora Studies (AAAD) conference on Sat Feb 20th at 10:00 am (EST). Hope to see you there!

So happy to see this review of The Rise of the African Novel in the @JoburgReview. Now fully tucked away in wintery US thanks to Covid, at least my book is finding space and warmth in South Africa! https://t.co/XrmBdtg5kp

That Cornel West cannot get tenure at Harvard is as laughable as it is serious in terms of what it means to be a black scholar in primarily white institutions. And it points to the fact that black excellence can often not be excellent enough. I mean, West had to apply for tenure?
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