2003 Caine Prize winner Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, latest release ‘Dust’, tells the story of the Ogandas’ – a family torn and how the death of their beloved son, forces them to confront some home truths. Power and deceit, unrequited love and survival and sacrifice are all key elements that shape Owuors mesmerizing novel.
From a breathtaking new voice, a novel about a splintered family in Kenya—a story of power and deceit, unrequited love, survival and sacrifice.
Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge. In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation.
Here is a spellbinding novel about a brother and sister who have lost their way; about how myths come to pass, history is written, and war stains us forever.
In 2004, Eve Magazine named Owuor, ‘Woman of the Year’ for her contribution to Kenyan literature and arts. She has had her previous work ‘Weight of whispers’ published in Kwani? and McSweeney’s, while her story ‘The Knife Grinder’s Tale was made into a short film in 2005.