In this quietly powerful and eminently readable novel, winner of the prestigious Sinclair Prize, Kenyan writer Marjorie Macgoye deftly interweaves the story of one young woman’s tumultuous coming of age with the history of a nation emerging from colonialism.At the age of sixteen, Paulina leaves her small village in western Kenya to join her new husband, Martin, in the bustIn this quietly powerful and eminently readable novel, winner of the prestigious Sinclair Prize, Kenyan writer Marjorie Macgoye deftly interweaves the story of one young woman’s tumultuous coming of age with the history of a nation emerging from colonialism.At the age of sixteen, Paulina leaves her small village in western Kenya to join her new husband, Martin, in the bustling city of Nairobi. It is 1956, and Kenya is in the final days of the "Emergency," as the British seek to suppress violent anti-colonial revolts.But Paulina knows little about, about city life, or about marriage, and Martin’s clumsy attempts to control her soon lead to a relationship filled with silences, misunderstandings, and unfulfilled expectations. Soon Paulina’s inability to bear a child effectively banishes her from the confines of traditional women’s roles. As her country at last moves toward independence, Paulina manages to achieve a kind of independence as well: She accepts a job that will require her to live separately from her husband, and she has an affair that leads to the birth of her first child. But Paulina’s hard-won contentment will be shattered when Kenya’s turbulent history intrudes into her private life, bringing with it tragedy—and a new test of her quiet courage and determination.Paulina’s patient struggles for survival and identity are revealed through Marjorie Macgoye’s keen and sensitive vision—a vision which extends to embrace the whole of a nation and a people likewise struggling to find their way. As the Weekly Standard of Kenya notes, "Coming to Birth is a radical novel in firmly asserting our common humanity."...
|Title||:||Coming to Birth|
|Number of Pages||:||192 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Coming to Birth Reviews
I read this book in one of my African Lit classes during my undergrad years, and I've never forgotten it. It is the sad & beautiful story of Paulina, whose volatile marriage and family life mirrors the political landscape of Kenya. This is one of the few truly perfect books I've ever read.
Most people in my year hated this book and the fact that they had to read it....but they had to....and I loved it! I love the faction(fact + fiction) of it. I love the story of the woman moving to a town, she only knows Luo but she's determined to make a way: she learns Kiswahili, the national language, bit by bit; she learns how to spend money wisely; she learns how to survive in Nairobi in the middle of the emergency- but that's just at the start. Her story is interwoven wihthe story of another birth- and a hard one as well- the birth of a new nation- Kenya. So I loved the book all through the looking up years at the beginning, the darker years in the middle and the once-more-looking up years at the end. Hopefully both her child and the child Kenya are carried to term is what you think at the end...I loved it.
Story of a Kenyan woman's transformation from dependence to independence that coincides with her country's move to independence. Her single independence is lauded until the end when it indicates she is not totally complete until she has a child. It ends with her pregnancy. A seeming contradiction. Why is she not complete as an independent woman in her own right?
A inspiring and interesting book.It still remains in my memories,since I read it in my High School.I like the author's mode of presentation and they styles employed which are quite appealing to the reader.The flow of ideas is also logical and quite systematic.I salute her for good work.
Although only about 150 pages, this short novel spans a twenty-year period in the life of a young Kenyan woman, whom we first meet when she comes to Nairobi at the age of 16 to stay with her new husband in a cramped barrack-like room. Paulina gains independence over time, her personal development taking place against a backdrop of Kenyan independence, political violence, and development of the new nation. It had the arc of a full novel despite its brevity. I see that a more recent edition included a historical note, which would have been helpful, because there are a lot of names and events referred to which I was not familiar with, but it was very interesting nonetheless, and prompted me to want to learn more about this time and place.
Coming to Birth is a novel written by Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, and was first published in 1986. Marjorie moved and settled in Kenya during her early adulthood years. She was quickly integrated into the Luo culture, which is part of the larger African culture. She learnt the way of life, traditions, and customs of the Luo community in the course of her marriage to D. G. W. Macgoye – her husband. The novel gives the clear indication of detailed experiences in the Luo culture and traditions. Full Review at http://african-literature.net/index.p...
I kept struggling with this book trying to hear the authentic voice of Paulina. I think what I understand my struggle when I realized that the book was written by a British-born transplant to Kenya. It all made sense then...the lack of authenticity.
one of the nice and engaging novel which reflect the life of a born country grappling with neo-colonialism, bad leadership, political instability amon others