Kenyan literary matriarch Grace Ogot has passed on

Grace Ogot
Grace Ogot

It’s not been a great time for Kenya’s literary matriarchs in recent times. In 2011 we said goodbye to Margaret Ogola the writer of The River and The Source and my personal favourite Mandate of the People. We then said goodbye to Asenath Odaga probably our greatest female writer and the first to set up how own publishing company Lake Publishers.

Yesterday we lost yet another icon; Grace Ogot. Grace Ogot was Kenya’s first female assistant minister but it was in the book world that she was most well know. Her books included an anthology, The Promised Land published in 1966 which focused on the Luo migration to northern Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in search of fertile land and wealth in the in the 1930s. This was followed by a collection of short stories titled The Rain Came. She wrote a novel, Land without Thunder (1968)an insight into Luo culture in pre-colonial East Africa.

The Promised Land by Grace Ogot
The Promised Land by Grace Ogot

Her other work in both English and Kiswahili were The Other Woman (1976), The Island of Tears (1980), The Strange Bride published as Miaha in Dholuo (1983), Aloo kod Apui (1981) and Ber Wat (1981).

Our condolenses to the family and friends of the great lady author.






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