"In the Year of the Maji Maji": Settler colonialism, the Nandi Resistance, and Race in The Garden of Eden
This article argues that the so-called “Maji Maji story” that David Bourne writes in The Garden of Eden is not about the Maji Maji Rebellion at all. Details of the story suggest that it is about the Nandi Resistance in British East Africa and the massacre that ended that struggle. Writing during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s about the 1905 massacre that most clearly symbolized the founding violence of British colonialism in Kenya was a significant political gesture. We need to turn to settler colonialism, theory, however, to understand why this gesture is so opaque in the text and why it matters for our understanding of the novel.