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MEDIA CONTACT:  Terry Gearing

FAU’s Wilkes Honors College Symposium PresentsNgũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Author, Activist, Prisoner of Conscience to Speak on ‘The Education of a Writer’

            JUPITER, FL (April 1, 2011) – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, distinguished professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine, will speak at FAU Jupiter on Friday April 15, at 1 p.m. in the Administration (AD) Auditorium. Born and raised in Kenya, Ngũgĩ is a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist.
                While living in Kenya, Ngũgĩ survived the Mau Mau War of Independence (1952-1962), which was a central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya and was a major theme in his early works. In 1977, he published Petals of Blood, which portrayed a harsh and unsparing picture of life in neo-colonial Kenya. Due to the controversial and critical nature of these works, he was arrested and imprisoned without charge at Kamiti Maciu Security Prison. Amnesty International named him a Prisoner of Conscience, and after an international campaign, he was released a year later. Ngũgĩ provided a detailed account of his experiences in Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary.
                Ngũgĩ has received eight honorary doctorates and numerous prizes in literature, including the Nonino International Prize. His name is often at the top of the list to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Ngũgĩ has published more than 25 books, including the Njamba Nene series for children, and edits the Gĩkũyũ language journal, Mũtiiri.
                Ngũgĩ’s presentation, part of the Robert Lee and Thomas M. Chastain Symposium Lecture Series, is held in conjunction with the Wilkes Honors College’s 9th Annual Symposium for Research and Creative Projects. The symposium will include student presentations from 9 – 11:30 a.m. in the Honors College (HC) and AD Buildings.  Poster sessions and an art show will also be held in the HC Building from 2 – 4 p.m.
                The symposium and lecture are free and open to the public.  For reservations, call 561-799-8646 or email


The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, located on FAU’s John D. MacArthur Campus, is a four-year residential liberal arts & science college for high achieving undergraduates.

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of the University’s establishment, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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