WHO: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
WHAT: DUST, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf January 31, 2014
WHERE: The author was born in Kenya and lives in Australia.
WHY: “A stunning debut.
“From the moment Odidi Oganda is gunned down on a Nairobi street, this novel by the Caine Prize-winning author grabs the reader’s heart, refusing to let go. Blending short, staccato bursts of words with long, sensuous, prose passages, Owuor lays bare the tumultuous history of Kenya through the lives of Odidi’s parents, Nyipir and Akai-ma, and his beloved sister, Ajany.
“Home from a self-imposed exile in Brazil, fueled by the madness of her grief, Ajany attempts to resuscitate Odidi by reconstructing the last ten years of his life. In doing so, her path crosses that of an equally despairing Englishman, Isaiah Bolton, wandering through Kenya in search of a father he’s never known but whose name, Hugh Bolton, resonates with the Ogandas. Their families’ secrets mimic those of the citizens of Kenya, whose lives are torn apart by repression and torture.
“Each fully formed character in this relentlessly sorrowful novel evinces a palpabale longing for connection, and as the past unfolds, understanding evolves, anger dissipates, and tears of anguish and relief water the dusty land.
“Owuor represents another shining talent among Africa’s young writers publishing in English. This searing novel, though informed by her Kenyan roots, should not be pigeonholed. These unforgettable characters and universal themes will speak to all readers who seek truth and beauty in their literature.”
—Sally Bissell, in a starred review for LIBRARY JOURNAL
“A powerful first novel… an important addition to the literature of contemporary Africa.” —Mark Levine, BOOKLIST
From the first lines of the book: Here. She could paint this; hold the brush as a stabbing knife. There. Coloring in landscapes of loss. She could draw this for him, this longing to hear his particular voice, listening for echoes of bloodied footsteps, borrowing dead eyes to help her find him again.
Publicist for this title:
Erica Hinsley | 212-572-2018 | email@example.com