Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, The Kintu Saga

Chair of Judges, Jamal Mahjoub said:

The winner, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi‘s The Kintu Saga, is an ambitious attempt to bring the history of Uganda into the present lives of the novel’s protagonists. Through successive generations, the author sketches out the continued relevance of the past in the present.”

Judge, Mbugua wa Mungai said:

I doubt there is a reader who, being familiar with life in contemporary Africa beyond a superficial grasp of its dramatic twists and abrupt turns, can come away from a reading experience of The Kintu Saga empty-handed. The text has a contemplative quality worth giving serious thought to."

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is an Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University where she completed a PhD in Creative Writing. She was born in Uganda and moved to the UK in 2001 to study for an MA. She lives in Manchester with her husband Damian and son, Jordan. Her work has been published by African Writing Online and Commonword. She also runs the African reading group, ARG!, in Manchester which focuses on obscure African writers. She is currently working on her second novel.

Synopsis At dawn, on Monday the 5th of January 2004 in Uganda, the curse of Kintu strikes. Kamu Kintu is brutally murdered by a mob in Bwaise. Three months later, ten men involved in his murder are found dead, their bodies strewn along Bwaise’s main street. The story then travels back to 1750, to the beginning of the curse in the old kingdom of Buganda. The Kintu Saga follows the misfortunes of the Kintu clan over 250 years, blending Ganda oral tradition, forms of myth, folktale and history with biblical elements. The novel explores ideas of transgression, curse and perpetuity, looking back at the history of Buganda Kingdom and tracing birth of modern Uganda.

Interview with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

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