Pages: 432
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld


Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

An award-winning debut that vividly reimagines Uganda's troubled history through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan
9781786073778 (25 Jan 2018)
RRP £14.99

The Book

'A soaring and sublime epic. One of those great stories that was just waiting to be told.' (Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings)


The year is 1750. As he makes his way to the capital to pledge allegiance to the new leader of the Buganda Kingdom, Kintu Kidda unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. As the centuries pass, the tale moves down the bloodline, exploring the lives of four of Kintu Kidda's descendants. Although the family members all have their own stories and live in very different circumstances, they are united by one thing - the struggle to break free from the curse and escape the burden of their family's past.

Blending Ganda oral tradition, myth, folktale and history, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has brought to life an extraordinarily colourful cast of characters to produce a powerful epic - a modern classic.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 432
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a Ugandan novelist and short story writer, has a PhD from Lancaster University. Her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. Her story ‘Let's Tell This Story Properly' won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Makumbi lives in Manchester with her husband, Damian, and her son, Jordan.


'Kintu is an important book. It is also a very good one...inventive in scope, masterful in execution, [Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi] does for Ugandan literature what Chinua Achebe did for Nigerian writing.'

- Guardian

'A multicharacter epic that emphatically lives up to its ambition.'

- Sunday Times

‘Immediately engaging…as gruelling vignettes of gender injustice jostle with hallucinatory dream sequences.'

- Observer

'A soaring and sublime epic. One of those great stories that was just waiting to be told.'

- Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

‘The most important book to come out of Uganda for half a century.'

- Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland

‘I recommend Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's Kintu, a sprawling, striking epic...It reminded me of some of my favorite long novels from the past few years, including Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings, Eka Kurniawan's Beauty Is a Wound, and Annie Proulx's Barkskins.'

- Gabe Habash, author of Stephen Florida

'With crisp details and precise prose, Makumbi draws us into the dynamic and vast world of Uganda - its rich history, its people's intricate beliefs, and the collective weight of their steadfast customs.'

- World Literature Today

'Magisterial…epic... The great Africanstein novel.'

- New York Review of Books

'Kintu is a masterpiece, an absolute gem, the great Ugandan novel you didn't know you were waiting for.'

- The New Inquiry

'A masterpiece of cultural memory, Kintu is elegantly poised on the crossroads of tradition and modernity.'

- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

'Impressive... Reminiscent of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, this work will appeal to lovers of African literature.'

- Library Journal (Starred Review)

'Kintu got me through many a quiet evening... It's an epic read, best taken at a steady pace, which begins in 1750 and culminates in the present day, simultaneously exploring the role of family bonds, ancestral legacies, and the state of modern Uganda. It deserves hefty British sales when it comes out here in January.'

- Michela Wrong, journalist and author

‘In this captivating multigenerational family saga, Makumbi has gifted us with an exquisite and powerful debut. Written in delightful prose, bold and ambitious, Kintu is easily one of the best novels I have read this year.'

- Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street

‘A bold, sweeping epic, ambitious and very well crafted. The kind of book you hope everyone will read.'

- Tendai Huchu, author of The Hairdresser of Harare

'A work of bold imagination and clear talent.'

- Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, editor of Africa39

'This is an extraordinary novel about a family bound together by love, betrayal, and an age-old curse, told in gripping language that continually surprises. A literary triumph.'

- Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion's Gaze

'Makumbi takes a sniper's aim at the themes of virility and power across time. Over the course of six rich sections, she fires not a single gratuitous shot.'

- Public Books

‘Powerful, vibrant and deeply engrossing, this is a thoroughly rewarding read - and we're sure, a worthy new entry to the African literature canon.'

- Pride

'Passionate, original, and sharply observed... This critically acclaimed modern classic is expansive in its scope and range. A bold and multilayered novel which is at once Uganda's national narrative as well as a compelling tale of family and blood ties.'


- Book Riot

'History in the form of an unrelenting curse pervades the present in this epic novel that questions if we can ever fully recover from the wounds of the past.'

- Bookbag

‘Makumbi's characters are compelling as individuals, but it is their shared past and journey toward a shared future that elevate the novel to an epic and enigmatic masterpiece.'

- The Riveter

‘Kintu is by far my favorite book of the year (perhaps of the past several)…absolutely unforgettable.'

- BookBrowse

'Makumbi is clearly a creative genius.'

- Tope Salaudeen-Adegoke, Wawa Book Review

'An ambitious modern epic that takes in family saga and the history of Uganda, fusing the urgency of the present with the timelessness of myth.'

- Jamal Mahjoub, author of The Drift Latitudes

'Kintu is not just the story of a family, but a story of Uganda, a country whose history begins before colonization and encompasses far more than just that chapter.'

- Mary Pappalardo, New Delta Review

'Our histories and our names have stories that we cannot afford to keep quiet about.'

- Nyana Kakoma, Africa In Words

'Postcolonial literature is often thought of as a conversation between a native culture and a Western power that sought to dominate it... Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's marvellous Ugandan epic, Kintu, explodes such chauvinism.'

- Guernica