Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.
(1939- ) Kenyan author of dozens of popular novels. He is among the most productive and influential writers in East Africa, writing mainly popular genre novels and young adult books. He entered school only at the age of twelve and after studying at Salvation Army schools, finished his education at O level. He started writing in the early 1960s, but his first stories appeared only a decade later, and shortly after he established his first publishing company, Comb Books. It became swiftly successful, with his "mini novels" such as After 4:30 (1974), but later his publishing venture collapsed as his books were banned in neighbouring Tanzania. Among his best-selling romances and crime fiction, two short novels influenced by Ian Fleming's James Bond and featuring the African secret service agent Benni Kamba 009 are sf. In The Equatorial Assignment (1980) Benni Kamba fights the megalomaniac Dr Thunder who tries to control the continent by placing puppet presidents in every African country. A fight against the mysterious disease named "disconnector" in a fictitious African country named Darba is the topic of Operation DXT (1986), where Benni Kamba discovers the epidemic is being manufactured by a conglomerate established in the Mediterranean. A less successful Maillu novel with sf elements is the romance Kadosa (1975), which features an Extraterrestrial woman, Kadosa, visiting today's Kenya. [JO]
David Gian Maillu
born Kenya: September or October 1939 [he gives his own birth date as 19 October 1939]
Benni Kamba 009
- The Equatorial Assignment (London: Macmillan, 1980) [Benni Kamba 009: pb/]
- Benni Kamba 009 in The Equatorial Assignment (Harare, Zimbabwe: The College Press, 1982) [vt of above: Benni Kamba 009: pb/]
- Benni Kamba 009 in Operation DXT (Nairobi, Kenya: Spear Books, 1986) [novel: Benni Kamba 009: pb/Emmanuel Kariuki]
- Kadosa (Nairobi, Kenya: David Maillu Publishers, 1975) [novel: pb/]
Listing confined to significant titles aimed at adult readers.
- My Dear Bottle (Nairobi, Kenya: Comb Books, 1973) [poem: pb/]
- After 4:30 (Nairobi, Kenya: Comb Books, 1974) [pb/]
- After 4:30 (Nairobi, Kenya: Maillu Publishing House, 1987) [rev of the above: pb/]
- Broken Drum (Nairobi, Kenya: Jomo Kenyatta Publisher – Maillu Publishing House, 1991) [pb/]
- P.O. Box I Love You, Via My Heart (Nairobi, Kenya: Maillu Publishing House, 1991) [pb/]
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