Unbury Our Dead With Song

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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.

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    , 978-1911115984
About the Author
Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ

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.

The publishing ecosystem is broken. In the US the poverty level for a household of four is a paltry $26,200. Using a calculation of 50 cents per copy the author will have to sell 52,400 copies - in other words we need to have a bestseller all the time, every year. Now add COVID. https://t.co/8ADjr8Cmjo

The National Emergency Library is a big ask to writers. 15% book royalties equals $1:50 for a $10 book. And because of COVID, no more readings or talks to supplement income. Every penny counts. Now, imagine trying to sell your pie while the vendor next door is giving them away!

Yes, the National Emergency Library is a gift to readers, but is it a gift to still living writers whose books are still under copyright protection, and their publishers? But if you ever wanted to read Nairobi Heat but could not it, is in the archive.
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