The River Between (African Writers Series)
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Christian missionaries attempt to outlaw the female circumcision ritual and in the process create a terrible rift between the two Kikuyu communities on either side of the river.
unpacking of the damage done to independence movements by Africans being forced to use the colonizers’ languages to express discontent calls into question the authenticity of the work he chose to write in English, but such is the attitude of Ngugi, a writer profoundly allergic to the simple. Ngugi describes African existence as a struggle between two competing forces, an imperialist tradition and a resistance tradition: The biggest weapon wielded and actually daily unleashed by imperialism
others making jibes at him. The name was taken up by the drummers and the soloists. The frenzy and shrieks were up again. And suddenly he felt as if a hand soft and strong had held his soul and whipped it off. It was so strange that he felt his emotions and desires temporarily arrested in a single timeless moment; then release. Waiyaki was nothing. He was free. He forgot everything. He wanted only this thing now, this mad intoxication of ecstasy and pleasure. Quick waves of motion flashed
too far away from her. And he did not care for her. He was a Teacher, a big leader. The only objects of his efforts were the many children all over the country who were now going to school. What then? Would such a man care for her, a man who had big things to think about? Would such a man associate himself with a girl who was not circumcised, a girl whose father led the other side? At such times she prayed that she might be true to her father. It was good for her to stay with him, to obey him
felt she could hate him. Of course it was all ridiculous. And inside her she was accusing herself for having rejected him. She went back to the opposite bank and sat in her favorite spot. To her left was open ground where the candidates for circumcision went to shed their blood. Muthoni too had come here on the morning of her sacrifice. Nyambura did not feel at peace. The river no longer soothed her. When the evening came and the birds began to fly away, Nyambura went home. Joshua was there
entrance. She read sorrow and agitation in his face. Her heart jumped with excitement. There stood her man. There stood Waiyaki, the Teacher, her black Messiah, sent from heaven after Muthoni’s death to come and rescue her from disintegration. And she knew the man loved her. She had heard it from his own lips. Since then she had thought about him day and night. It did not matter if her father forbade her standing with him. Joshua could control her body, but he could not control her heart. And so,