Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

dust banner - orange and purple landscape

a nutshell: this impressive debut opens with the murder of a young man in Nairobi, which leads to the unravelling of secrets within his family across 1950/60s Kenya

a line: “After Mboya, Kenya’s official languages: English, Kiswahili, and Silence.”

an image: sound plays a big role in this novel, from the human noises of accusations to the peaceful story-word vessels that Ajany’s brother Odidi created to carry her into safe borders

a thought: Owuor makes frequent use of repetition – “Odidi runs” and “What endures?” are just some of the phrases that crop up again & again; the effect is almost thriller-like

a fact: the author’s short story ‘Weight of Whispers‘ won the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing

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