“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Readathon Begins with the memoir Unbowed by Wangari Matthai.

I have three books I am going to be reading today and I already read part of all three.  In addition to Unbowed, I'll be reading Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson and The Dark Abode by Sarojini Sahoo.

Wangari Maathai died of ovarian cancer on September 25th of this year.  She came to my attention when she won the Nobel Peace in 2004 for her environmental work in Kenya.  Wangari was an African dark-skinned woman so I immediately wondered who she was and how she had won the prize.  I planned to get one of her books and read it for several years, but I didn't actually buy one until this year. I'm always a few years behind.

Right now I am on Pg.65 and have learned that Maathai was born in Kenya in 1940 during British occupation in a small farming Kikuyu community near Nyeri. Her family worked for an English farmer and at the age of eleven she was sent to St. Cecilia's Catholic school where she was able to grow and expand her love of learning.  She was also brainwashed into believing that her native language and beliefs were evil and inferior to Western/Christian ideas.  It sounds like she received a mixed bag of good and bad in her education.  Hmmm.  Me too.


  1. I'm always a few years behind with books too. For instance, I borrowed Unbowed from the library when it was new, read about 100 pages (loved it), and then could not renew it, and now of course remember nothing, so must make time to get back to it. Even when I think I'm not behind, I'm actually just preparing to be more behind later. So I get it. Happy Read-a-Thon-ing!

  2. I'm loving Unbowed too. Maathai comes across as being intelligent and having good common sense.

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has to take books back to the library unfinished. Unfortunately I just had to return a few unfinished and late. The library just has too many good books and I get excited and grab many more than I could ever read. Rationalization: The library does need the fine money.


What's on your mind?