JRAlilaTheLuoDreamers'OdysseyLiterary inspiration comes in different shapes and shades; it comes from different sources and places and moments in our daily lives: the screaming graffiti in the public washroom; the screaming mob on freedom square; the spider hanging delicately on a near-invisible thread by it web, waiting for an occasional catch; a weaver bird weaving a new nest before the eggs come; a roaring waterfall down a deep gorge; your first date at fourteen; that math teacher who made your day a nightmare in a middle school, but left you with an A-grade; the disease epidemic that shut down palaces, before sweeping clean small huts in your village; the policeman who stopped you on a deserted highway after midnight, then let you go with, “Madam, your break-lights are dead,” and left you wondering for how long he had been trailing you. All these are inspirational moments for a creative writer, depending on what genre, theme or hero or heroin the writer is defining. Grab them when they are still hot.

The novel, “The Luo Dreamers’ Odyssey: From the Sudan to American Power  (, was inspired by the improbable journey of the Luo as a people, their political struggles, and tragic events in their journey. President Barack Obama’s march to the Presidency offered the background song as I, wearing my creative hat, chiseled historical events, liberally applying the creative fiction vanish, concocting tales and myths and chasing the little historical truth I could lay my hands on. What resulted was a mixture of history and fiction that some of my fans, who wear the right literary moods and have moments to spare, have not been able to put down from dusk to dawn. At the end of it all, the reader will have walked with the spiritual and psychological jungles of Luo history from fifteenth-century Sudan to twenty-first century America; you will have played Ajua with the protagonist at the citadel of world power; you will have met  “Gor-like” (excuse me) character who is a woman one moment, and a man the next—charming his way through glass panes and police dragnets at will; you will have met extraordinary Luo men and women of courage and rare intelligence who have shaped the destiny of the Luo and Kenya, and the world.


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