"A testament to the resilience of youth and the strength of hope. . . . Vividly evokes the colonial era as experienced by Africans, and the resulting clash of cultures that produced one of the most significant African writers of our time. . . . Ngũgĩ's greatest literary achievement in this book is to re-create, with almost uncanny success, how the world looked through mid-century African eyes."
–The Boston Globe
"Eye-opening. . . . The work Ngũgĩ offers us here is like nothing that's gone before. . . . There is a startling similarity between [Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father
] and . . . Ngũgĩ's eye-opening memoir. . . . It is admirably free of cant or sentimentality, and yet it is enough to make you weep."
–The Washington Post
"Startling, vivid. . . . Inspiring. . . . Whether recalling joyful or challenging times, Ngũgĩ displays a plainspoken yet beautiful prose style. . . . Ngũgĩ's inspiring story is a testament to his extraordinary resilience and stubborn refusal to surrender his dreams."
–Christian Science Monitor
"Absorbing. . . . Infused with a child's curiosity and wonder, this book is deeply touching in its revelation of a whole community's stake in nurturing a writer."
"Gives its readers an unforgettable sense of another time, a country and a continent in the middle of change. A small child learns to hold onto his dreams, even in a time of war."
–Los Angeles Times
"Luminously evokes Kenya on the cusp of independence. . . . [This] memoir is suffused with affecting evocations of time and place, as well as a touching reminder that dreams can come true."
–Richmond Times Dispatch
"Ngũgĩ has been a key figure in Kenya's modern history, both as a writer and as a model for political engagement, and his three-volume memoir will serve as an important record of the country and the life."
"Crisp, clearly told. . . . A fascinating look at twentieth-century African history, but also a moving intellectual odyssey in which Ngũgĩ learns to revere both modernity and tradition but to reserve a healthy skepticism of both."
"Ngũgĩ has returned to his roots to produce something delicate, fresh and scrupulously honest."
"Richly drawn. . . . A coming-of-age tale, gripping, endearing, shocking and funny by turns. . . . The surprise about Dreams in a Time of War
is that, for all the provocation of history, and for all its clear-eyed evocation of an agonised time, it is not an angry book. . . . Ngũgĩ's storyteller's instinct for character and place, for recurring motifs and telling symbols, triumphs over the bleakness of background."