Dance of the Jakaranda

KSh 1,350

Set in the shadow of Kenya’s independence from Great Britain, Dance of the Jakaranda reimagines the special circumstances that brought black, brown, and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of the nation.

The novel traces the lives and loves of three men—preacher Richard Turnbull, the colonial administrator Ian McDonald, and Indian technician Babu Salim—whose lives intersect when they are implicated in the controversial birth of a child. Years later, when Babu’s grandson, Rajan—who ekes out a living by singing Babu’s epic tales of the railway’s construction—accidentally kisses a mysterious stranger in a dark nightclub, the encounter provides the spark to illuminate the three men’s shared, murky past.

With its riveting multiracial, multicultural cast and diverse literary allusions, Dance of the Jakaranda could well be a story of globalization. Yet the novel is firmly anchored in the African oral storytelling tradition, its language a dreamy, exalted, and earthy mix that creates new thresholds of identity, providing a fresh metaphor for race in contemporary Africa.

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Author: Peter Kimani
ISBN: 9781617754968
Publisher: Akashic Books,U.S.
Size (cm): 133 x 210 x 28
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Colour: Black and White
Weight: 299 grams
Language: English
Publication Date: 16 Mar 2017
  1. Rated 4 out of 5


    The Master lacks quick judgement, decision and brutality, the prerequisites that make him a master. Babu as a character is a success creation. Turnbull seems missing something. The novels tells stories of Kenya foundation and the history of the railway. It would be interesting to hear mr. Kimani’s idea on the mordern kenya railway.

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