The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright


Author: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Illustrated by Sunandini Banerjee

9780857426475 | HB | pp. 62 | 2019 | Seagull Books

The Upright Revolution is a fantastic fable which blends myth and folklore with insight into human psyche and politics, about how and why humans began to walk upright.

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Science has given us several explanations for how humans evolved from walking on four limbs to two feet. None, however, is as riveting as what master storyteller Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o offers in The Upright Revolution. Blending myth and folklore with an acute insight into the human psyche and politics, Ngũgĩ conjures up a fantastic fable about how and why humans began to walk upright. It is a story that will appeal to children and adults alike, containing a clear and important message: ‘Life is connected.’

Originally written in Gikuyu, this short story has been translated into numerous languages–forty-seven of them African–making it the most translated story in the history of African literature. This new collector’s edition of The Upright Revolution is richly illustrated in full colour with Sunandini Banerjee’s marvellous digital collages that open up new vistas of imagination and add new dimensions to the story.

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Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o







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Seagull Books





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About the Contributors

The author was born in Limuru, Kenya, in 1938. One of the leading African writers and scholars at work today, he is the author of many novels, short stories, essays, a memoir and several plays. His novels include The River Between (1965) and Petals of Blood (1977). He received the prestigious Nonino International Prize for Literature in 2001. Currently he is distinguished professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine.

The illustrator is a Calcutta-based graphic artist and editor who has illustrated books by Thomas Bernhard, Yves Bonnefoy and Ivan Vladislavic, among others.


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