Going Down River Road
MEJA MWANGI is a prolific Kenyan novelist who has earned recognition throughout Africa and beyond as a most exciting writer. He was born in 1948 in Nanyuki, central Kenya, and was educated at Nanyuki High School and Kenyatta College before moving to Nairobi where he worked as a soundman for French television ORTF. It is during this time that he wrote his first novel, Kill Me Quick (1973). This was quickly followed by Carcase for Hounds (1974), which won the inaugural
Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature and was also adapted for the film "Cry Freedom". Since then, Meja has written many
novels, most of which are published in the Peak Library: Kill Me Quick (1973), Carcase for Hounds (1974), Going Down
River Road (1976), Striving for the Wind (1990) and The Last Plague (2000), which won the 2001 Jomo Kenyatta Prize for
Literature. While continuing to write, Meja is still involved in film making. Ben is a man on the move-in bars, nightclubs,
in the streets, in the brothels down River Road in Nairobi. It is on one of these occasions that he meets Winni and her son Baby. But Winni runs off with her white boss leaving her little son with Ben, and destroying his trust in women. When Ben meets Ocholla at a construction site, action, humour and more people come into the picture. Mwangi's light-hearted treatment of serious situations makes an unforgettable impact.
... rarely has anybody put so much understanding and empathy into character portrayal in a contemporary novel about our time and place. And our time and place is all this novel is all about!
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