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Witi Ihimaera book going into Kenyan schools

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 5th January 2013

The_Whale_Rider.jpg
The Whale Rider by openly-gay New Zealand author Witi Ihimaera will be a set book in Kenyan schools this year, a move being described as a first in the African nation.

“Although it may be as a result of an oversight at the conservative Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), Kenyan students have, for the first time, had the opportunity to read in class a book by an author who is openly gay,” correspondent and Associate Professor in English at Northwestern University Evan Mwangi writes in Kenyan newspaper Saturday Nation.

“Gay references in the novel are subtle but keen readers won’t miss them. But going by the guidebooks on The Whale Rider in Kenyan bookshops, teachers will likely ignore or suppress the gay undertones in the novel and the gay part of the author’s life and writing career — assuming they know about it.”

However Mwangi says it’s the first time a novel by an openly-gay author has been a set book in Kenyan schools.


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