Matthew Cheney continues to discuss Kenyan literature. This time, it’s Going Down River Road:
[This book] was recommended to me
strongly enough that it become the object of a quest I and some friends
went on when we were in Nairobi. A Kenyan had told us that the book is
a fine example of how to write about a particular place and time, and
that it evoked a lost Nairobi that was nonetheless familiar enough. The
book was described with such passion that we became determined to find
copies for ourselves. We went from one bookstore to another, but though
they all had books by Mwangi (he’s a prolific writer), they did not
have Going Down River Road. The afternoon turned to evening and
all the shops in the city center closed. We asked around, and someone
told us that if anybody would have copies of the book, it would be a
bookstore over in a mall in Westlands, and so we got into a taxi and
sped off in search of the book — and lo and behold, we found a pile of
them. One for each of us.
It amuses and disturbs me to think that I bought Going Down River Road in a mall in one of the richer areas of Nairobi . . .
Interestingly, Amazon has this book as out of print. There are 4 used copies.
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