Written by Kenyan author Ndiritu Wahome, The Sad Artist and Other Fairy Tales delightfully blends mystical realism with emotional, political, and artistic messages. While written as traditional children’s fairy tales, The Sad Artist reaches out to all ages.
Wahome says his “objective was to create fantasy stories, which were infused with realism in the hope of letting young children know that even though life is full of hardships, they can overcome and achieve anything they so deemed.” But peel back another layer, and The Sad Artist and Other Fairy Tales has a strong message that reveals “bad leadership, appalling politics, sloth and corruption” that Wahome says is too often found in contemporary African governments.
“The Sad Artist is magical realism at its best. Wahome’s fairytales are in the tradition of Salmon Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Ben Okri,” says publisher Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh. “Ndiritu captures the innocence of the world through a child’s eyes to make strong statements about the modern condition.”
Although the fairy tales are set in a mystical version Wahome’s native Kenya, they transcend Africa for a global perspective on the realities of life in the 21st century at the crossroads of old and new. Although Wahome’s fairytales can sometimes be cautionary, he never loses hope for both humanity and its future. His world is one that “The wicked, who seem to live the good life, in the end, suffer in their demise. The good, even though exposed to a life of poverty, wretchedness, and solitude, end up living happily ever after.”