The breathtaking debut from the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction 2018
'A soaring and sublime epic. One of those great stories that was just waiting to be told.' (Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings)
In this epic tale of fate, fortune and legacy, Jennifer Makumbi vibrantly brings to life this corner of Africa and this colourful family as she reimagines the history of Uganda through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan.
The year is 1750. Kintu Kidda sets out for the capital to pledge allegiance to the new leader of the Buganda kingdom. Along the way he unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. Blending oral tradition, myth, folktale and history, Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break free from the burden of their past to produce a majestic tale of clan and country – a modern classic.
‘Kintu is an important book. It is also a very good one...inventive in scope, masterful in execution, [Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi] does for Ugandan literature what Chinua Achebe did for Nigerian writing.’ (Guardian)
‘A multi-character epic that emphatically lives up to its ambition.’ (Sunday Times)
‘A highly ambitious, dense and tightly written narrative… Makumbi succeeds in making us feel the emotional importance of uncovering family history. Often faced with agonisingly difficult legacies and situations, her characters don’t just want but need explanations.’ (Times Literary Supplement)
‘Immediately engaging…as gruelling vignettes of gender injustice jostle with hallucinatory dream sequences.’ (Observer)
‘Kintu is a triumph of east African literature and one that delights in the pliant nature of storytelling itself, the ways in which family lore is passed down and the impact of variations on it... This rich drama examines the power of such legacies, and the potential for even the most far-flung, estranged families to unite in the face of ages-old evil.’ (Financial Times)
‘Epic both in intention and execution, Kintu contains a vast number of characters, avenging ghosts and portentous visions...the final coming together of the entire Kintu clan, arrived at with precision and intricacy, makes for a satisfying and thoughtful denouement.’ (Spectator)
‘A soaring and sublime epic. One of those great stories that was just waiting to be told.’ (Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings)
‘Kintu is an entertaining, engrossing, and, crucially, intimate read... an extraordinary novel that is unafraid and beautifully unashamed to examine Uganda’s rich culture. It is a novel that is proudly Ugandan; it is a novel that deserves to be widely read.’ (Irish Times)
‘The most important book to come out of Uganda for half a century.’ (Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland)
‘A great, big, roaring Ugandan epic.’ (Jackie Kay, Observer)