Why Join?

  • Add New Books

  • Write a Review

  • Backpack Reading Lists

  • Monthly Newsletter

Join Now

The Perfect Nine

The Perfect Nine

Author(s): Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Location(s): Kenya

Genre(s): Folklore

Era(s): Modern

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE

A dazzling, genre-defying novel in verse, full of trial and sacrifice, The Perfect Nine is a glorious epic about the founding of Kenya’s Gikuyu people and the ideals of beauty, courage and unity.

Gikuyu and Mumbi settled on the peaceful and bounteous foot of Mount Kenya after fleeing war and hunger. When ninety-nine suitors arrive on their land, seeking to marry their famously beautiful daughters, called The Perfect Nine, the parents ask their daughters to choose for themselves, but to choose wisely.

First the young women must embark on a treacherous quest with the suitors, to find a magical cure for their youngest sister, Warigia, who cannot walk. As they journey up the mountain, the number of suitors diminishes and the sisters put their sharp minds and bold hearts to the test, conquering fear, doubt, hunger and many menacing ogres, as they attempt to return home. But it is perhaps Warigia’s unexpected adventure that will be most challenging of all.

Blending folklore, mythology and allegory, Ngugi wa Thiong’o chronicles the adventures of Gikuyu and Mumbi, and how their brave daughters became the matriarchs of the Gikuyu clans, in stunning verse, with all the epic elements of danger, humour and suspense.

Review this Book

To review this book, please

Log in

Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021