- Paperback: 446 pages
- Publisher: Transit Books (May 16, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1945492015
- ISBN-13: 978-1945492013
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kintu Paperback – May 16, 2017
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"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
Aaron Bady is a writer in Oakland and an editor at The New Inquiry.
Top customer reviews
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Technically, the novel does not dwell on descriptives nor does it lose the reader in the narrative. Rather to the point; yet, not lacking on visuals, side stories, and reference points.
I appreciate that it lets the reader figure out foreign terminology and use our own creativity and imagination, through the evolution of the storyline.
Very vivid, though not prescriptive, depicting of personality traits and surroundings allows the reader to easily visualize every single element: characters, villages, food, landscape, etc.
After merely 20 pages, you have already developed feelings for the characters. You can feel their plight and understand their (re)actions.
Short chapters and quick pace.
Cons: you can't wait until the unraveling. Drags it out a bit longer than needed.
So many characters with so many different names makes you lose track of whose who in book six, and even throughout.
Nevertheless, this is going into my top 10 of "modern" literary musts.
When Kintu accidentally kills his adopted son, a curse is unleashed on his entire lineage. The curse manifests mostly as mental illnesses. This is concerning to me because obviously this is part of the reason why a large part of the African population thinks mental illness is anything other than illness. The whole curse layer of the story did not sit right with me because everyone now knows mental illnesses are genetic, "curse" or not.
However the author weaves a compelling tale of family and the importance of staying together even when families scatter across the globe. I thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about Uganda. I liked the use of indigenous language, even though it's a bit disconcerting at first to keep reading words you don't understand here and there. You get used to it.
The Kintu family tree is massive and it can be hard to keep track of family members but I just focused on remembering those whose stories mattered. At the end, there's a good tying together of the entire tale. Solid work here. Cannot wait to read more African literature that is full of history.
But after every UK house refused to publish, Transit Books of Oakland, CA - San Franciso’s black, poor shadow, where the American born, radicalized hero/villain of the “Black Panther” lived - bought and published on first reading.
A London edition followed, but the Brits are pretending they are not shame-faced, following a braver US house.
Found myself using Amazon “search” to see what other marvels were discovered in the Oakland ghetto, but found a major, even “mammoth” as the software just prompted, hole the properly vaunted Amazon search.
There seems no way to search for a publisher, not a title.
As this house just beat London on their home turf, and humbled New York, Amazon might consider helping readers and distinctively voiced publishers, by fixing the glitch.
Speaking of bad software, trying to tell Amazon about this problem tricked me - I was asked to start a chat by typing into a field, which I did at some length, whereupon my typing was erased and I was forced to start over if I wanted to “chat” perhaps with a bot.
As the roots in American reality of a comic book movies are.iterally blocks from a publisher beating the world to highlight brilliant African writing for Africans, I wanted to suggest Amazon invite this author to the US, as it seems Transit Books is too poor but honest for a tour, let alone promotion.
As the Financial Times of London undt Frankfurt reviewed the belated London edition, the “ha ha, Oakland beat London and NY to give us Kampala” angle is almost too good to be true.
And even if Amazon programmers are too stupid to simplify publisher search - and reduce the company’s monopolization litigation risk - I will look for more Oakland gems.
The writing is crisp and engaging. I wish the author had included a family tree for reference.
You will not be disappointed.