Translating as ‘initiation’, Kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man. The poems of Kayo Chingonyi’s remarkable debut explore this passage: between two worlds, ancestral and contemporary; between the living and the dead; between the gulf of who he is and how he is perceived. Underpinned by a love of music, language and literature, here is a powerful exploration of race, identity and masculinity, celebrating what it means to be British and not British, all at once.

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Critic Reviews (3)

7.6
Weighted Avg. Adjusted by the addition of a statistical value.
Critic Score Distribution
Highest score:
Lowest score:
Average score:
10.0
8.0
8.7
  1. Positive: 3 Out of 3
  1. Mixed: 0 Out of 3
  1. Negative: 0 Out of 3
Critical Consensus: Good.
1

The Guardian

09 Aug 2017
8.0
"Chingonyi’s poems are full of questions that need asking. Kumukanda means “initiation” (he was born in Zambia) and refers to the rites a boy from the Luvale tribe must go through to qualify as a man. His book is a poetic initiation too. It is ...
1

Litro

12 Jul 2017
8.0
"Reading his poetry, identity becomes something spongy, something whose form has not yet solidified as it soaks up and draws us in to this process of growing." ...
1

Culturefly

17 Jun 2017
"The most touching of the poems for me were those that focussed on the loss of Kayo’s mother. ‘For those orphaned late in life’ is a short seven line poem, yet it envelops that emptiness, out of body detachment that grief brings." ...

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SIMILAR Books

Published:

June 1, 2017

Publisher:

Chatto & Windus

ISBN:

978-1-784-74139-6

Language:

English

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