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hm books 2008
The Last Plague

"In his 449-page novel, The Last
, Kenyan writer, Meja Mwangi,
achieved two things: he wrote a
restrained AIDS novel that was true to
the apocalyptic character of the
pandemic, and he wrote a classic of
delirious humour. It is this combination
of tragedy (that never quite loses its
grasp on hope), deft satire, and
unexpected humour that bushwhacks
the reader at the most sombre
moments, that makes this book
compelling rereading, even seven years
after its first publication."

Books Worth Reading.
Crossroads is on the verge of
extinction by Aids.  The disease has
wiped out most able-bodied
leaving behind orphans and old
people.  There seems to be no hope except in Janet, the
lone community health volunteer.  She has made it her
mission to speak out against the habits, the customs and
the ignorance that have made it difficult to effectively
control the spreading of the plague.

Crossroads examines the conflicts between the old and
the new and between the traditional and the modern. It is
also about the relationship between men and women as,
compassionate woman and her determination to save her
male-dominated community from Aids.

"Crossroads The Last Plague"  turns a critical spotlight on a
community facing difficult choices.
Jomo Kenyatta Award for Literature
National Book Week Award
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
The young adult 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.