Copyright  © 2015 by Meja Mwangi.com                                                         All Rights Reserved
Christmas Without Tusker
hm books 2015
ISBN 978-0-982012680
230 Pages
Meja Mwangi's first novel, Kill Me Quick, was written in
1973.
 This young adult novel displays Mwangi’s talent for writing lively stories
depicting rural youth and societal problems in Kenya. It narrates the experiences
of Meja and Maina, two youths who have come to the city with the hope of
bettering their lives, confident that their high school diplomas will lead to success.
However, they are unable to compete for jobs in the city and, ultimately, they
resort to petty theft and crime. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw, in her article ‘Half Education
Is Madness!’: Mwangi’s Teenage Characters Battle Poverty in a Post colonial
African City,' states that the novel shows the failure of the educational curriculum
in post colonial Africa. She writes that it is 'a typical story of a dream deferred.
Kill Me Quick was also made into a stage play.

Mwangi’s keen eye for the drama and humor in everyday rural life in Kenya shines
throughout his work.
Striving for the Wind, contrasts a traditional farmer, who
is dependent on oxen for plowing, with a wealthy neighbor whose imported
tractor is incapacitated during a global petrol crisis.

Other themes that are common to all his works are the difficulties young
educated Kenyans face when trying to return to their rural homes to apply their
learning and the impact of corrupt officials on the lives of the poor. The novel
The Last Plague, which won Mwangi his third Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature
in 2001, offers a seldom-heard African male perspective on the impact of
HIV/AIDS in rural areas. Again, it features a well-educated, well-meaning young
man facing many obstacles as he tries to set up his veterinary practice in a small,
dying town.  Mwangi’s tremendous concern for the poor and disadvantaged—and
his prescriptions for how they could really be helped—resonate throughout the
novel.

Mwangi continues to be a prolific writer.
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