INTRODUCING DANCE OF THE JAKARANDA BY PETER KIMANI 

 NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR  

Saqi’s fiction imprint Telegram returns this year with the resounding literary triumph Dance of the Jakaranda, a powerful novel that explores colonial legacy in Kenya. We’re delighted to announce that Peter Kimani will be making a rare trip to the UK this March to discuss his new book at a number of events. It’s 1963 and Kenya is on the verge of independence from British colonial rule. In the Great Rift Valley, Kenyans of all backgrounds come together in the previously white-only establishment of the Jakaranda Hotel. The resident musician is Rajan Salim, who charms visitors with songs inspired by his grandfather’s noble stories of the railway construction that spawned the Kenya they now know. One evening, Rajan is kissed by a mysterious woman in a shadowy corridor. Unable to forget the taste of her lavender-flavoured lips, Rajan sets out to find her. On his journey he stumbles upon the murky, shared history of three men – his grandfather, the owner of the Jakaranda and a British preacher – who were implicated in the controversial birth of a child. What Rajan unearths will open his eyes about the birth not just of a child, but of an entire nation.


‘Funny, perceptive and ambitious ... Kimani is a raw talent.’

New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice

‘A racially charged dance of power, Kimani's writing has the lyrical tenderness of poetry.’

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

‘A rich tableau of layers and texture ... vivid and evocative writing.’

Huffington Post

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AUTHOR TOUR 

 For one week in March, Peter Kimani will be in the UK to discuss his UK debut, Dance of the Jakaranda. 

 Peter Kimani is an award-winning poet and novelist. He was one of three international poets commissioned to compose and present a poem marking Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. A prominent journalist on Kenya’s national news circuit, Kimani’s work has also appeared in The Guardian, New African and Sky News. He is currently a Visiting Writer at Amherst College in the United States.

RECENT EVENT

Don't miss this opportunity to hear Peter speak at the following venues:


For those unable to make these events, you can catch Peter on the following radio interviews:

13 March, 11.30am, BBC World Service, The Cultural Frontline
15 March, 10.00am, Colourful Radio


UPDATES FROM THE LONDON TOUR


BBC- 1 -  Kenyan author Peter Kimani joined Focus on Africa's Bola Mosuro to talk about his new book, Dance of the Jakaranda, set in 1963 when Kenya was on the verge of independence from the British.  The book explores issues of race, colonialism, identity and betrayal. Read More on: Instagram Watch video here: BBC Facebook page hosted by Bola Mosuro

BBC -2 -  Author Peter Kimani tells us a tale of two Kenya's - as we talk to him about his new book - which is full of surprises.

Watch video here: A TALE OF TWO KENYAS

The Guardian - The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him,” counsels the great African American writer, James Baldwin. In contemplating my society, I looked back to its founding, which led to an assessment of the last days of the British occupation of Kenya and to my novel, Dance of the Jakaranda. Read More...

The Daily Nation This week, the Dance of the Jakaranda author arrived in London to promote the book that has now been published in Britain. In nearly all the events in his week-long book tour in the United Kingdom, the constant questions about identity, race, power, politics and debilitating legacy of colonialism in Kenya kept popping up from the audiences. Read More...