An instant success and bestseller in Kenya, which ran into 6 reprints, this prize-winning novel marked the beginning of popular literature in Kenya. Mangua's novel is a fictional, autobiographical account of the son of a prostitute. The male narrator describes his life as the orphan of a prostitute in the slums of Nairobi, a young man frequenting bars and brothels, a student, corrupt civil servant and seasonal convict. His is a humorous and cynical account revealing much about the unsavoury aspects of a world experiencing rapid social change. Charles Mangua is a prolific writer of popular literature, and author of three other novels, Son of Woman in Mombasa (the sequel to Son of Woman), A Tail in the Mouth, and Kanina and I.