Mukoma wa Ngugi’s latest novel Unbury Our Dead with Song has been published in Kenya by Jahazi Press, “a Nairobi-based independent publisher of literary fiction and nonfiction by Kenyan authors.” The novel, which was originally published by Cassava Republic Press, is now available to East African readers. It tells the story of a tabloid journalist who falls in love with the Ethiopian classic music Tizita.
In a press statement published on jamesmurua.com, Jahazi Press founder Ahmed Aidarus expressed excitement about the opportunity to share Mukoma’s work with East African readers, praising the author’s “signature prose.”
Mukoma sees the publication of the book, which he describes as a “love letter to African writing and aesthetics,” as a kind of homecoming. He also notes the significance of independent publishers like Jahazi stepping up to revitalize the African literary scene.
From my vantage point as a scholar of African literature and writer, I see the future of African writing lying in the hands of independent publishers such as Cassava, Paivapo and Jahazi Presses. Where educational publishing has stunted the African literary eco-system, independent publishers are publishing risky, adventurous and innovative works.
I am therefore very excited that Unbury Our Dead with Song, a novel I consider my love letter to African writing and aesthetics is being published by Jahazi. And equally happy, as a writer previously primarily published in the West that Unbury our Dead with Song has as its first homes Nigeria and Kenya. It is good to be home.
Mukoma joins Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Peter Kimani, and J.E. Sibi-Okumu whose works have been published by Jahazi Press.
East African readers can buy the book at Prestige Bookshop branches at Mama Ngina Street in the Central Business District and at the Lavington Mall.
Congrats to Mukoma!