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About the Author
Peter Kimani is a leading Kenyan journalist and the author of, most recently, Dance of the Jakaranda, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The novel was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in the US and long-listed for the inaugural Big Book Awards in the UK. He has taught at Amherst College and the University of Houston and is presently based at Aga Khan University's Graduate School of Media and Communications in Nairobi.
Critical praise for Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani:
"This funny, perceptive and ambitious work of historical fiction by a Kenyan poet and novelist explores his country's colonial past and its legacy through the stories of three men involved with the building of a railroad linking Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean--what the Kikuyu called the 'Iron Snake' and the British called the 'Lunatic Express.'"
--New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
"Kimani has done a game job managing the carpentry of this ambitious novel, bringing great skill to the task of deploying multiple story lines, huge leaps back and forth in time and the withholding and distribution of information...Once Kimani has his plotlines all set, his writing relaxes, and it's here that you can see his raw talent...I grew up in Kenya, and I have never read a novel about my own country that's so funny, so perceptive, so subversive and so sly."
--New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating part of Kenya's history, real and imagined, is revealed and reclaimed by one of its own."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Kimani's novel has an impressive breadth and scope. His illustration of the construction of the railway from Mombasa to the hinterland of Kenya in the early 20th century follows three men--a British colonial administrator, a Christian preacher, and an Indian--whose lives have intersected in unexpected ways."
--Los Angeles Review of Books, "Reclaiming Africa's Stolen Histories Through Fiction"