One Day I Will Write About This Place

One Day I Will Write About This Place
A Memoir
Binyavanga Wainaina

A Publishers Weekly "Top Ten Book of the Year"

A New York Times "Notable Book" and New York Times Book Review "Editors’ Choice"

“Harried reader, I’ll save you precious time: skip this review and head directly to the bookstore for Binyavanga Wainaina’s stand-up-and-cheer coming-of-age memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place. Although written by an East African and set in East and Southern Africa, Wainaina’s book is not just for Afrophiles or lovers of post­colonial literature. This is a book for anyone who still finds the nourishment of a well-­written tale preferable to the empty-­calorie jolt of a celebrity confessional or Swedish mystery.”—Alexandra Fuller, The New York Times Book Review

About the Book

“A Kenyan Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man . . . suffused by a love affair with language.”—Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Books of 2011

In this vivid and compelling memoir, Binyavanga Wainaina tumbles through his middle-class Kenyan childhood out of kilter with the world around him. In One Day I Will Write About This Place, named a 2011 New York Times notable book, Wainaina brilliantly evokes family, tribe, and nationhood in joyous, ecstatic language.

Additional Reviews

“[An] astonishing, dreamy memoir. . . . Words quickly become [Wainaina’s] life, especially as he grows up to become one of Africa’s intellectual leaders, but never does he lose that magical, deeply felt sense of language. And as his readers, neither do we.”, Summer Reading List

“Glimmering, strobe-lit language . . . [One Day I Will Write About This Place] reveal[s] a complex, cosmopolitan African experience too rarely depicted in books.”Teju Cole, GQ, “Book of the Year Club”

“One of Kenya’s young literary stars.”—Vanity Fair

“This self-portrait of the artist as a young African man is the story of an outsider coming into his own, but it’s Wainaina’s capacity for language that sets it apart. Growing up in a place where people use many tongues—Kiswahili, English, Kikuyu and dozens of others—interchangeably serves him well in weaving together lyrical, impressionistic scenes from his past. More than just pretty prose, however, ODIWWATP does justice to the complex place that’s much more than the sum of tidy facts unenlightened Westerners may know about it.”—Time Out New York

"Wainaina tells his story and coming-of-age in passionate and poetic detail. . . . A remarkable memoir of people, culture, place, and language."—Cerise Press