So Long a Letter
Written by award-winning African novelist Mariama Ba and translated from the original French, So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some... show more
Written by award-winning African novelist Mariama Ba and translated from the original French, So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some bitter—recounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong friend, Aissatou, it is a record of Ramatoulaye's emotional struggle for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage by taking a second wife. This semi-autobiographical account is a perceptive testimony to the plight of educated and articulate Muslim women. Angered by the traditions that allow polygyny, they inhabit a social milieu dominated by attitudes and values that deny them status equal to men. Ramatoulaye hopes for a world where the best of old customs and new freedom can be combined. Considered a classic of contemporary African women's literature, So Long a Letter is a must-read for anyone interested in African literature and the passage from colonialism to modernism in a Muslim country. Winner of the prestigious Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. Titles of related interest from Waveland Press: Beti (trans. Moore), The Poor Christ of Bomba (ISBN 9781577664185); Emecheta, Kehinde (ISBN 9781577664192); Equiano (ed. Edwards), Equiano's Travels (ISBN 9781577664871); La Guma, In the Fog of the Seasons' End (ISBN 9781478600251); Marechera, The House of Hunger (ISBN 9781478604730); and Oyono (trans. Reed), Houseboy (ISBN 9781577669883).
Publish date: May 21st 2012
Publisher: Waveland Press, Inc.
Pages no: 96
Edition language: English
A fascinating & bittersweet look at women's roles (written by a woman) in post-colonial, male-dominated Senegal. Interestingly enough, I read So Long a Letter quite by chance after having just finished [b:Xala|574425|Xala|Ousmane Sembène|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328757709s/574425.jpg|561417] by...
I haven't read this book since I was 13 or so but I remember loving it.
I enjoyed this intimate vision of the life of a Senegalese woman told through a letter written to a friend in the aftermath of becoming widowed. The book is almost entirely about the choices women had and made as career options and social opportunities opened up for them in a modern Senegal. We see ...
A novella about a middle-aged Senegalese woman writing a long letter to her best friend following her husband’s death. The husband, we learn, had abandoned the writer five years before in order to take a second wife, a scenario repeated (with variations) among many families of her acquaintance.This ...