Read Scarlet Song by Mariama Bâ Free Online
Book Title: Scarlet Song|
ISBN 13: 9780582785953
The author of the book: Mariama Bâ
Edition: Longman Publishing Group
Date of issue: December 31st 1986
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 584 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1795 times
Reader ratings: 7.1
Read full description of the books:
Given that Mariam Ba wrote this book as she was dying, I wonder if that is why she managed to put in so much of how she saw her world? The African world. And this she did brilliantly; she showed, did not tell. She expertly wove in the many layers of life as an African in the modern world, exploring many themes without losing the unity of the story.
If I rated the book initially, in the first third or so, I'd have given it a 3. I got more into it as I read on, and by the time I was done it was a 5.
Very vividly written, the story explores various themes. Inter-racial marriages. Racism. Counter-racism. African culture. Can I be a prisoner of my values, can I be blind to this prison? Identity. What is it? What makes me who I am? Can I lose my identity by making choices that go against the pre-set mould of culture and family? What do I choose to fight to the death for? Is my identity in my mind, a thing created, or an idea I buy into? Expectations in marriage of husbands and wives. Can a marriage with only one side making sacrifices work? Must both sides make sacrifices for any union to work? Cultural differences. Do we hold on to bits of culture that work for our selfish interest? Pride. Love. How important are appearances for society? Does giving the 'right' impression make for happiness? All this in such a small book.
Being an African living a 'western' life in Africa the story resonated with me several times, even if not out of my personal experience, out of observation.
And as a lover of words I absolutely loved the language and the expressions. So real. So apt in places. Managing to convey the conflicts we have in our minds and how we justify our choices. I wondered what it must be to read this book in the original French, given how well it comes out in English.
This was time well-spent.
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Read information about the authorMariama Bâ (1929 – 1981) was a Senegalese author and feminist, who wrote in French. Born in Dakar, she was raised a Muslim, but at an early age came to criticise what she perceived as inequalities between the sexes resulting from [African] traditions. Raised by her traditional grandparents, she had to struggle even to gain an education, because they did not believe that girls should be taught. Bâ later married a Senegalese member of Parliament, Obèye Diop, but divorced him and was left to care for their nine children.
Her frustration with the fate of African women—as well as her ultimate acceptance of it—is expressed in her first novel, So Long a Letter. In it she depicts the sorrow and resignation of a woman who must share the mourning for her late husband with his second, younger wife. Abiola Irele called it "the most deeply felt presentation of the female condition in African fiction". This short book was awarded the first Noma Prize for Publishing in Africa in 1980.
Bâ died a year later after a protracted illness, before her second novel, Scarlet Song, which describes the hardships a woman faces when her husband abandons her for a younger woman he knew at youth, was published.
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