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The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gikuyu and Mumbi

The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gikuyu and Mumbi

Translated by the author from Gikuyu

Published by VINTAGE, Harvill Secker

Blending folklore, mythology and allegory, The Perfect Nine chronicles the adventures of Gikuyu and Mumbi, and how their brave daughters became the matriarchs of the Gikuyu clans. Gikuyu and Mumbi settled on the peaceful and bounteous foot of Mount Kenya after fleeing war and hunger. When 99 suitors arrive on their land, seeking to marry their famously beautiful daughters, called The Perfect Nine, the parents ask their daughters to choose for themselves, but to choose wisely.

First the young women must embark on a treacherous quest with the suitors, to find a magical cure for their youngest sister, Warigia, who cannot walk. As they journey up the mountain, the number of suitors diminishes and the sisters put their sharp minds and bold hearts to the test, conquering fear, doubt, hunger and many menacing ogres, as they attempt to return home. But it is perhaps Warigia's unexpected adventure that will be most challenging of all.

About the Author

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is one of the leading writers and scholars at work in the world today. His books include the novels Petals of Blood, for which he was imprisoned by the Kenyan government in 1977, A Grain of Wheat and Wizard of the Crow; the memoirs, Dreams in a Time of WarIn the House of the Interpreter and Birth of a Dream Weaver; and the essays, Decolonizing the MindSomething Torn and New and Globalectics. Recipient of many honours, among them ten honorary doctorates, he is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.