Conservative Aesthetics and Radical Politics in the Early Work of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Craig Mitchell Smith


Critical views of the development of the Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o are remarkably consistent in seeing the author as having undergone a complementary process of aesthetic and political radicalization in the course of his writing career. This article focuses on "The Martyr," one of the author's early stories, and contends that while it is aesthetically conventional its anticolonial politics are more radical than is commonly recognized in the prevailing criticism on Ngugi.


Ngugi; anticolonialism; Mau Mau

Full Text: