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.

For an excellent discussion about the racial moment we are in and the Neo-liberal/free speech market Harper's letter, blackness, Ebonics as a first language and linguistic colonization, see this thread by Michael Hobbes @RottenInDenmark. https://t.co/MnRsr2Z0q4

Ebonics is a LANGUAGE not a dialect or bad English. In the racial moment we are in, instead of a Harper’s letter defending white people’s free speech, we should be spending our energy on black people in the US having a right to speak their first language. https://t.co/gPTVs31PJG

I am not with this whimper of a letter! In a less generous mood I would say this letter is in defense of cultural appropriators, bell-curvist and eugenicists. Every generation gets overtaken by events. Progressives have to to keep up or get out of the way. https://t.co/gjveMulas0
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