Coming to Birth

Author: Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye

Published: 1986

Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye works skillfully to weave the narrative of Martin and Paulina’s experiences in marriage with that of Kenya as a young developing country. The struggles that Martin and Paulina face in their marriage, mainly through the state of childlessness, gives an impression of the disillusionment faced by citizens in the hope that they will enjoy their new found freedom in the country.

The hopelessness and despair seen in the relationship between Martin and Paulina is similar to that of prevailing politics in the country. The citizens seemingly protest for getting less than that which they bargained for, and neo-colonialism is most likely to take center stage in Kenya, as a young independent nation.

In the same way that Martin and Paulina are seen to reconcile and nurture the hope of having a child together, so does Marjorie shows the possibility of citizens experiencing the reality of freedom in their country. Freedom and joy seemingly come after trying times, which also serve to make the characters in the novel stronger and independent.

The employment of imagery and ideas that are relative to the African experience lays the foundation for the success of Marjorie’s work. It a masterpiece, written simply, clearly, and skillfully, to communicate the author’s thoughts and experiences concerning culture, politics and influence of cultural traditions. Source: African literature reviews

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