One Day I Will Write About This Place – a Chimurenga Session featuring Binyavanga Wainaina

Join us in Cape Town to launch long-time Chimurenga collaborator, Kwani? founding editor and celebrated writer, Binyavanga Wainaina’s groundbreaking new memoire, One Day I Will Write About This Place.

December 2 from 6.30pm

at the Slave Church on Long Street, Cape Town

Wainaina will read from his book followed by a discussion session with Centre for African Studies Director, Prof Harry Garuba.


“If words, in English, arranged on the page have the power to control my body in this world, this sound and language can close its folds, like a fan, and I will slide into its world, where things are arranged differently.”

Seven years in the making, spanning Wainaina’s middle-class upbringing in Kenya, his failed attempt to study in South Africa, a moving family reunion in Uganda, his travels around Kenya, music, soccer, food, politricks, beauty, tragedy, fragile ripeness, sexual fantasy, love and philosophy, One Day I Will Write About This Place has been released to widespread critical acclaim.

‘Binyavanga Wainaina is a singer and painter in words. He makes you smell, hear, touch, see, above all, feel the drama and vibrations of life below the brilliantly and concretely captured surface of things in Kenya and Africa. The memoir bursts with life and laughter and pathos in every line and paragraph.’ – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
‘Brilliant… Wainaina’s beautifully elastic sentences fizz and crackle, pounce on their meanings, stretch and snap back into place, and evoke not only the self-replenishing wonders of childhood but the more complex wonders that follow. An outstanding book, bursting with life and full of love.’ – Teju Cole, author of Open City
‘Fascinating memoirs are now appearing from a new generation of Africans, born after the independence struggles and cultural conflicts that defined their parents’ age … Wainaina’s book, which typifies the new trend, is politically and socially engaged – that is, it attempts to explain Kenya and Africa, but it does so without a knee-jerk resort to colonial woes, and this is very welcome …’ Helon Habila, Guardian

Binyavanga Wainaina is a Kenyan author, journalist and winner of the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. He is the founding editor of Kwani?, a leading African literary magazine based in Kenya. He has written for The EastAfrican, National Geographic, The Sunday Times (South Africa), Granta, the New York Times and The Guardian (UK). Wainaina has taught at Union College and Williams College, and is currently the Director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Literature and Languages at Bard College.

Harry Garuba is the Head of Department and Associate Professor in the Centre for African Studies. In addition to being an author and poet, he is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Heinemann African Writers Series and one of the editors of the newly established electronic journal Postcolonial Text. His recent publications have explored questions of mapping, space and subjectivity within a colonial and postcolonial context and issues of modernity and local agency, especially the nature and form of African inflections of the modern


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