One of the greatest living African writers, perennial Nobel Literature Prize shortlister Ngugi Wa Thiong’o has created a richly enjoyable romp of a verse novel from the origin story of the Gikuyu people of Kenya.
The Perfect Nine is an entertaining and fast-moving retelling of the myth that begins with Gikuyu (man) and Mumbi (woman), the archetypal father and mother of dazzlingly beautiful daughters known as the Perfect Nine – even though there are actually ten of them.
Nine of the sisters are sent on a gruelling quest up Mount Kenya with 99 potential suitors, each charged with selecting a life partner from the band of keen candidates. Their odyssey has unexpected consequences for themselves and their family, including unleashing the surprising talents of their tenth sister Warigia.
Oozing humanity and compassion, this is feel-good fiction with impeccable literary pedigree, and in which women and men have equal agency.