Summer 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 3 Fiction |

Abiku: Return from Exile

The morning following his return to Kwatee Republic, Kalumba was awakened by the sound of pots and pans. He dressed and stepped outside, barefoot, into the small lawn, so manicured and green that against the ring of black soil feeding the red rose bushes and surrounding ring of white carnations, the grass looked like it was made of plastic. It was cold. Not the excessive winter cold he had left behind; here, it was cold because it was still early in the morning. He ran his bare feet against the grass to let the morning dew cool him into waking up fully. He walked over to the place where, before he left ten years ago, he remembered a pigsty and a chicken barn. Only the foundations, and occasional rotting planks of wood, overgrown by weeds and healthy looking strawberry bushes, remained. He walked to a huge sisal plant. As a young man, using a thorn from its tip, he used to chisel messages, proverbs, and thoughts of the day into its massive leaves, which dried into letters. It w

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Kenyon Review logo
Mukoma Wa Ngugi is author of Black Star Nairobi (Melville, 2013), Nairobi Heat (Penguin, 2009; Melville 2011), and an anthology of poetry titled Hurling Words at Consciousness (AWP, 2006). He was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2009 and the Penguin Prize for African Writing in 2010. He is currently based in Norwalk, CT. (http://www.mukomawangugi.com/) This piece is an excerpt from a manuscript that became the book Mrs. Shaw, published by Ohio University Press/Swallow Press in 2015.

Read More

Pole, Pole

By Susan Minot

The morning following his return to Kwatee Republic, Kalumba was awakened by the sound of pots and pans. He dressed and stepped outside, barefoot, into the small lawn, so manicured […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.