A Grain of Wheat is the third and best-known novel written by Ngugi wa Thiong'o from Kenya. It weaves several stories together during the state of emergency in Kenya's struggle for independence (1952–1959), focusing on the quiet Mugo, whose life is ruled by a dark secret. The plot revolves around his home village's preparations for Kenya's independence day celebration (Uhuru day). Former resistance fighters General R and Koinandu plan on publically executing the traitor who betrayed Kihika (a heroic resistance fighter hailing from the village) on that day.
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- But whom do we see in the motor cars and changing them daily as if motor cars were clothes, it was not those who took part in the Movement...some even outright traitors and collaborators.
- Gikonyo; unspecified edition, unspecified page
- The world had conspired against him, first to deprive him of his father and mother and then, to make him dependent on an ageing harridan. The more feeble she became, the more she hated him. So, Mugo was haunted by his own inadequency.
- page 7