Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's books include the novels Petals of Blood, for which he was imprisoned by the Kenyan government in 1977.
Other novels include A Grain of Wheat and Wizard of the Crow. He has written three volumes of the memoirs, Dreams in a Time of War, In the House of the Interpreter and Birth of a Dream Weaver, and several essays, including Decolonizing the Mind, Something 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. He was shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2009 for his body of work and was longlisted for The International Booker Prize in 2021 for The Perfect Nine.
Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.
Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.
The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.