K is Kenya #TravelWithBooks #AtoZchallenge @AprilA2Z

K is Kenya

Kenya is all at once blessed and troubled. Striving from the aftermath of a colonial rule, rampant corruption and ethnic troubles, it also has a diverse landscape, villages, bustling capital city, beaches and the picturesque savannah.

The books also reflect the country’s volatile past, struggles and societal impact. These books are diverse and they will urge you to read about the country and its continent.


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The Dragonfly Sea by
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

BLURB – On the island of pate, off the Coast of Kenya, lives solitary, stubborn ayaana and her mother, munira. When a sailor named muhidin, also an outsider, enters their lives, ayaana finds something she has never had before: a father. But as ayaana grows into adulthood, forces of nature and history begin to reshape her life and the island itself-from a taciturn visitor with a murky past to a sanctuary-seeking religious extremist, from dragonflies to a tsunami, from black-clad kidnappers to cultural emissaries from China. Ayaana ends up embarking on a dramatic ship’s journey to the far East, where she will discover friends and enemies; be seduced by the charming but unreliable scion of a powerful Turkish business family; reclaim her devotion to the sea; and come to find her own tenuous place amid a landscape of beauty and violence and surprising joy. Told with a glorious lyricism and an unerring sense of compassion, the dragonfly’s sea is a transcendent story of adventure, fraught choices and of the inexorable need for shelter in a dangerous world.



Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

BLURB – To honour the Ruler’s birthday, the Free Republic of Aburiria set out to build a tower; a modern wonder of the world that will reach the gates of Heaven. But behind this pillar of unity a battle for control of the Aburirian people rages. Among the contenders: the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank.

Informed by traditional African storytelling, Wizard of the Crow is widely considered Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s masterpiece.




Unbowed: My Autobiography by Wangari Maathai 

BLURB – Born in a rural Kenyan village in 1940, Wangari Maathai was already an iconoclast as a child, determined to get an education even though most African girls then were uneducated. In her remarkable and inspiring autobiography, she tells of her studies with Catholic missionaries, earning bachelors and master’s degrees in the United States, and becoming the first woman both to earn a PhD and to head a university department in Kenya. She tells of her numerous run-ins with the brutal government of Daniel arap Moi and of the political and personal reasons that compelled her, in 1977, to establish the Green Belt Movement, which spread from Kenya across Africa, and which helps restore indigenous forests while assisting rural women by paying them to plant trees in their villages.

Maathai’s extraordinary courage and determination helped transform Kenya’s government into the democracy in which she now serves as Deputy Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources and as a Member of Parliament. Eventually her achievement was internationally recognized in the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in recognition of her ‘contribution to sustainable development, human rights, and peace’.

In Unbowed, we are in the presence of a hugely charismatic yet humble woman whose remarkable story carries with it an inspiring message of hope. Hers is an extraordinary story, spanning different worlds and changing times, and revealing what the courage, determination, tenacity and humour of one good woman can achieve; how as small a thing as planting a seedling and watering it can made all the difference in the world.



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Have you read any of these books, I am adding them to my TBR. Let me know any other books that I should be reading as well.

Which books from Kenya or by Kenyan or the African continent have you read? It is a very diverse and majestic land and I wish I could have featured more books and countries but A was for Australia so maybe I will do a series for African books later.

Share your thoughts, enlighten me 🙂


A to Z of  Incredible Indian Authors was my previous theme and you can read the posts here.

Previous Posts in the 2019 A to Z Challenge


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