Ngũgĩ wa Thiong´o´s tenth novel is a web of genres: A serendipitous persiflage of political narratives, a fantasy novel bordering on realism, and a love story about emancipation from patriarchy, capitalism and neocolonialism. It is also a novel about illness.
The story is set in the fictional Free Republic of Aburĩria on the African continent, whose autocratic Ruler came to power by violently building on the anti-Communist agenda of the West. In a post-colonial and post-Cold War environment, he struggles to keep his power among a shifting and weakening legitimacy. The Ruler´s struggle takes hold of his body through an illness, readily identified and patented for monetary gain by American medical professionals as SIE – Self Induced Expansion. His aides – three men proving their loyalty through body enhancements of eyes, ears, and mouth – face the limitation of Western medicine in New York City and call back home for help: the Wizard of the Crow is ordered to heal the Ruler. Continue reading “Book Review: Wizard of the Crow”