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Kintu Paperback – May 16, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Magisterial."—The New York Review of Books

"With a novel that is inventive in scope, masterful in execution, she does for Ugandan literature what Chinua Achebe did for Nigerian writing."—Lesley Nneka Arimah, Guardian

"Kintu is a masterpiece, an absolute gem, the great Ugandan novel you didn't know you were waiting for."—Aaron Bady, The New Inquiry

"A masterpiece of cultural memory, Kintu is elegantly poised on the crossroads of tradition and modernity."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Makumbi takes a sniper’s aim at the themes of virility and power across time. Over the course of six rich sections, she fires not a single gratuitous shot."—Public Books

"Postcolonial literature is often thought of as a conversation between a native culture and a Western power that sought to dominate it . . . Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s marvelous Ugandan epic, Kintu, explodes such chauvinism."—Guernica

"Reminiscent of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, this work will appeal to lovers of African literature."—Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Passionate, original, and sharply observed, the novel decenters colonialism and makes Ugandan experience primary."—Book Riot

"With crisp details and precise prose, Makumbi draws us into the dynamic and vast world of Uganda—its rich history, its people’s intricate beliefs, and the collective weight of their steadfast customs."—World Literature Today

"Some authors set the bar high with their debut work. Then there are authors like Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi whose first novel succeeds on such a stratospheric level it’s nearly impossible to imagine—or wait for—what she’ll write next."—Iowa Gazette

"Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is a charming fable, a wide-ranging historical fiction, and a critical historiography . . . fresh, intelligent, critical, and ambitious."—Bookwitty

"Makumbi’s characters are compelling as individuals, but it is their shared past and journey toward a shared future that elevate the novel to an epic and enigmatic masterpiece."—The Riveter

"This is an extraordinary novel about a family bound together by love, betrayal, and an age-old curse, told in gripping language that continually surprises. A literary triumph.”—Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion's Gaze

"A work of bold imagination and clear talent."—Ellah Allfrey, editor of Africa39

"An ambitious modern epic that takes in family saga and the history of Uganda, fusing the urgency of the present with the timelessness of myth."—Jamal Mahjoub, author of The Drift Latitudes

"Kintu is not just the story of a family, but a story of Uganda, a country whose history begins before colonization and encompasses far more than just that chapter."—Mary Pappalardo, New Delta Review

"Our histories and our names have stories that we cannot afford to keep quiet about."—Nyana Kakoma, Africa In Words

"Makumbi is clearly a creative genius."—Tope Salaudeen-Adegoke, Wawa Book Review

About the Author

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a Ugandan novelist and short story writer, has a PhD from Lancaster University, where she now teaches. Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. Her story "Let's Tell This Story Properly" won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She is currently working on her second novel and a collection of short stories, Travel Is to See, Return Is to Tell. Jennifer lives in Manchester, UK with her husband, Damian, and her son, Jordan.

Aaron Bady is a writer in Oakland and an editor at The New Inquiry.

Product details

  • Publisher : Transit Books; Reprint edition (May 16, 2017)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 446 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1945492015
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1945492013
  • Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.2 x 1.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
89 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

F. S. Wasswa
5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel with so many insights and teachings into Bugandan ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2018
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Virginia Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful brush!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2018
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