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Grace Ogot (Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot) Biography

(1930– ), (Grace Emily Akinyi Ogot), The Promised Land, The Graduate, Land Without Thunder, The Other Woman

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Joseph O'Connor Biography to Cynthia Ozick Biography

Kenyan novelist and short-story writer, born in Butere in the Luospeaking Central Nyanza district of Kenya; she studied midwifery at St Thomas's Hospital in London. She was Principal of the Women's Training Centre at Kismu, Kenya, before becoming a delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1975. Following her election to the Kenyan Parliament in 1985 she was appointed Assistant Minister for Culture and Social Services. Her work as a novelist is pervaded by her perceptions of tensions between indigenous tradition and scientific modernity in contemporary Kenyan life. Her first novel, The Promised Land (1966), a treatment of the persistence of tribal enmities, was the first work of imaginative literature to be published in English by a Luo. The best-known of her other novels is The Graduate (1980), which deals with the depletion of Kenya's intellectual and creative resources through the attractions of emigration. The principal collections of her short stories, which are noted for the poetic intensity of their language, are Land Without Thunder (1968), The Other Woman (1976), and The Island of Tears (1980). Among her other works is The Strange Bride (1989), her translation of her Luo novel Miaha (1985).

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