HM Productions Intl.                                        All Rights Reserved
Meja Mwangi's first novel, Kill Me Quick, was written in
 This young adult novel displays Mwangi’s talent for
writing lively stories depicting rural youth and societal
problems in Kenya. It narrates the experiences of Meja and
Maina, two youths who have come to the city with the hope of
bettering their lives, confident that their high school diplomas
will lead to success. However, they are unable to compete for
jobs in the city and, ultimately, they resort to petty theft and
crime, and being exploited by employers. Vivian Yenika-
Agbaw, in her article ‘Half Education Is Madness!’: Mwangi’s
Teenage Characters Battle Poverty in a Post colonial African
City,' states that the novel shows the failure of the
educational curriculum in post colonial Africa. She writes that it
is 'a typical story of a dream deferred because each pays the
price of daring to hope for a better life' (15). Kill Me Quick was
also made into a stage play.

Mwangi’s keen eye for the drama and humor in everyday rural
life in Kenya shines throughout his work.
Striving for the
Wind, set in the drought years of the 1980s, contrasts a
traditional farmer, who is dependent on oxen for plowing, with
a wealthy neighbor whose imported tractor is incapacitated
during a global petrol crisis. While this novel is suitable for
young adults, it does not shy away from some painful
realities. It includes the seduction of a young schoolgirl by a
rich old man, and when the young girl becomes pregnant, his
son says that he will marry her in his father’s place.

Other themes that are common to all his works are the
difficulties young educated Kenyans face when trying to return
to their rural homes to apply their learning and the impact of
corrupt officials on the lives of the poor. The young adult
The Last Plague, which won Mwangi his third Jomo
Kenyatta Prize for Literature in 2001, offers a seldom-heard
African male perspective on the impact of HIV/AIDS in rural
areas. Again, it features a well-educated, well-meaning young
man facing many obstacles as he tries to set up his veterinary
practice in a small, dying town.  Mwangi’s tremendous concern
for the poor and disadvantaged—and his prescriptions for
how they could really be helped—resonate throughout the

Mwangi continues to be a prolific writer. His latest novel,
Boy Gift, will be released in 2006. Suitable for adults and
young adults alike, it is about the confusion caused by the
birth of a light-skinned, green-eyed baby in the Bush Hospital.
While political aspirations and intrigue surround the birth of
the boy, at the emotional and psychological levels the author
explores a community’s reaction to the strange and

Readers interested in fast-paced stories that impart
considerable information on contemporary obstacles to rural
development and healthcare are encouraged to continue
reading the impressive list of novels published by Meja Mwangi.
copyright 2008 by HM Entertainment Inc.
$ 13.45
$ 19.95
$ 16.25
$ 16.65
$ 14.35
hm books, 2016
120 pgs
ISBN 978-0-9796476-3-5
$ 9.35