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by Makumbi, Jennifer

Uganda’s history reimagined through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan in an award-winning debut.

First published in Kenya in 2014 to critical and popular acclaim, Kintu is a modern classic, a multilayered narrative that reimagines the history of Uganda through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan. Divided into six sections, the novel begins in 1750, when Kintu Kidda sets out for the capital to pledge allegiance to the new leader of the Buganda Kingdom. Along the way, he unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. In an ambitious tale of a clan and a nation, Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu's descendants as they seek to break from the burden of their shared past and reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.

Blending Ganda oral tradition, myth, folktale and history, Jennifer Makumbi has brought to life an extraordinarily colourful cast of characters to produce a powerful epic - a modern classic.

Jennifer Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. Her short story 'Let's Tell This Story Properly' won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

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A soaring and sublime epic. One of those great stories that was just waiting to be told.

Quote: Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author

History in the form of an unrelenting curse pervades the present in this epic novel that questions if we can ever fully recover from the wounds of the past.

Review: Bookbag

James Graham on The Culture, Costa Book Prize winner announced, Ocean Liners

Quote: BBC Radio 4

This is a complex profile of a family and a country - both of its nation building and the urban and pastoral variations within its borders. Makumbi took 10 years to write it, and one can see the time and care in the deceptively casual manner in which she drops information here and there, laying traps for characters 50 years before they are sprung. With a novel that is inventive in scope, masterful in execution, she does for Ugandan literature what Chinua Achebe did for Nigerian writing.

Review: The Guardian

Kintuis an entertaining, engrossing, and, crucially, intimate read. It is an epic that doesn't ignore character for scope. Rather,Kintuis a novel that thrives on its compassionate investigation of the individual within the boundaries of an epic, within the boundaries of a nation's rapidly changing identity..Makumbi has crafted an extraordinary novel that is unafraid and beautifully unashamed to examine Uganda's rich culture. It is a novel that is proudly Ugandan; it is a novel that deserves to be widely read.

Review: The Irish Times

Jennifer Makumbi interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Front Row here, about 15.00 mins into the programme.

Quote: BBC Radio 4’s Front Row

"A masterpiece of cultural memory, Kintu is elegantly poised on the crossroads of tradition and modernity.

Review: Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Jennifer Makumbi has been awarded the 2018 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize in Fiction

Quote: Harwood

"It’s not hyperbole to call Kintu the great Ugandan novel. It is, simply and obviously, a plain fact."

Quote: Aaron Bady

Interview with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Quote: New Writing North

2018 Literary Calendar - Generations of a family suffer under a curse in a Ugandan epic spanning the last 250 years that blends oral storytelling, myth and folklore and has been described as "the most important book to come out of Uganda for half a century".

Quote: The Guardian

The most important book to come out of Uganda for half a century.

Quote: Giles Foden, author

Like Things Fall Apart, Kintu reveals the profound fracturing a of a local African community that results from uneven experiences of modernity impacting its traditional ways of life... the novel's 18th-century material presents a coherent, self-contained and consistently engaging narrative... Indeed, throughout Kintu, through and beyond the massive cat's cradle of connections that Makumbi works up between past and present, her characters press on, struggling to make sense of their situations.

Review: The New Statesman

A worthy new entry into the African literature canon.

Review: Pride Magazine

Longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Debut African Fiction

Quote: Transit Books


Review: The New York Review of Books

"Reminiscent of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, this work will appeal to lovers of African literature."

Review: Library Journal

Kintu is a masterpiece, an absolute gem, the great Ugandan novel you didn't know you were waiting for.

Review: The New Inquiry

Emphatically lives up to its ambition.

Review: Sunday Times

'History in the form of an unrelenting curse pervades the present in this epic novel that questions if we can ever fully recover from the wounds of the past.'

Review: The Book Bag

Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Quote: Transit Books

Kintu is named by Essence Magazine one of '23 Books By African Women You Should Absolutely Be Reading'.

Review: Essence

Article about fiction by African women in The Guardian, which features KINTU: "...Makumbi's prose style is as haunting as the storyline..."

Review: The Guardian

US: Transit ; French: Editions Anne-Marie Métailié ; Italian: 66thand2nd Publishers ; Netherlands: Cossee ; Turkey: Sola

Quote: Harwood

Winner of Kwani Manuscript Project

Quote: Transit Books

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