By Mariama Ba
Written by way of award-winning African novelist Mariama Ba and translated from the unique French, So lengthy a Letter has been famous as considered one of Africa's a hundred top Books of the twentieth Century. The short narrative, written as a longer letter, is a series of reminiscences—some wistful, a few bitter—recounted by way of lately widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong good friend, Aissatou, it's a list of Ramatoulaye's emotional fight for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage through taking a moment spouse. This semi-autobiographical account is a perceptive testimony to the plight of proficient and articulate Muslim ladies. Angered through the traditions that let polygyny, they inhabit a social milieu ruled via attitudes and values that deny them prestige equivalent to males. Ramatoulaye hopes for an international the place the simplest of outdated customs and new freedom may be mixed.
Considered a vintage of latest African women's literature, So lengthy a Letter is a must-read for an individual drawn to African literature and the passage from colonialism to modernism in a Muslim country.
Winner of the distinguished Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.
Titles of similar curiosity from Waveland Press: Beti (trans. Moore), The terrible Christ of Bomba (ISBN 9781577664185); Emecheta, Kehinde (ISBN 9781577664192); Equiano (ed. Edwards), Equiano's Travels (ISBN 9781577664871); los angeles Guma, In the Fog of the Seasons' End (ISBN 9781478600251); Marechera, The condo of Hunger (ISBN 9781478604730); and Oyono (trans. Reed), Houseboy (ISBN 9781577669883).
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Additional info for So Long a Letter
I cannot accept what you are offering me today in place of the happiness we once had. You want to draw a line between heartfelt love and physical love. I say that there can be no union of bodies without the heart's acceptance, however little that may be. If you can procreate without loving, merely to satisfy [Page 32 ] the pride of your declining mother, then I find you despicable. At that moment you tumbled from the highest rung of respect on which I have always placed you. Your reasoning, which makes a distinction, is unacceptable to me: on one side, me, 'your life, your love, your choice', on the other, 'young Nabou, to be tolerated for reasons of duty'.
We laughed noisily together. I saw again his beautiful set of teeth, capped with the circumflex accent of a black moustache, combed and very sleek. Ah! those teeth, set close together, had won my mother's confidence! 'But you women, you are like mortar shells. You demolish. You destroy. Imagine a large number of women in the Assembly. ' And we laughed again. ' And I pressed on: 'In many fields, and without skirmishes, we have taken advantage of the notable achievements that have reached us from [Page 61 ] elsewhere, the gains wrested from the lessons of history.
From the surprised looks, I gauged the slender liberty granted to women. The early shows at the cinema filled me with delight. They gave me the courage to meet the curious gaze of various people. They did not keep me away for long from my children. What a great distraction from distress is the cinema! [Page 52 ] Intellectual films, those with a message, sentimental films, detective films, comedies, thrillers, all these were my companions. I learned from them lessons of greatness, courage and perseverance.
So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba