The success of a nation therefore depends inevitably on the family. Instruments for some, baits for others, respected or despised, often muzzled, all women have almost the same fate, which religions or unjust legislation have sealed. The novel centers around the theme of women's roles in post-colonial Africa. Mawdo marries the young girl and Aissatou immediately asks for a divorce. By turn she expresses shock, outrage, anger, resentment, pity until it turns towards those she must continue to aid, her children, to those who have supported her, her friends, including this one about to arrive, and to thinking of the lot of all women. It was during this time she found a way to make peace with the past and to embrace the future.
Both women have been transformed by their husbands' decision to make them co-wives. Raised by her traditional grandparents, she had to struggle even to gain an education, because they did not believe that girls should be taught. Upon the death of her husband and during her 40day customary period of mourning, Ramatoulaye begins a diary-letter to her close friend Aissatou. She pens her letters honestly and reflectively, writing from her heart to her lifelong friend, Aissatou. It is difficult to resist the weight of society and probably even more the weight of one's own family. Through all of her pain, Ramatoulaye's heart went out to Modou's new bride, Binetou, who she felt would suffer more in the long run.
The two women have known since they were little girls and now with many children each, one is divorced and the other is a widow. Most of his friends were Fulani, as were those of my late father. That perspective enables us to filter whatever we come across from and to draw conclusions based on it. The author- now late- knew the subject matter inside out, and her 'long letter ' here to a female friend lays everything bare. I certainly love the main characters reflection on marriage,sex,religion vs tradition and the woman's role in society not just the home. Ramatoulaye was a school teacher in her fifties trying to cope with pressures of dealing with a husband and twelve children. Mariama Ba's So Long A Letter is story that dives deeply into the struggles of being a woman in a society that has no thoughts for your pain.
A simple example is that of Kaduna State where Christians outnumber Muslims but the latter have two-thirds of the senatorial constituencies. This commotion that is shaking up every aspect of our lives reveals and illustrates our abilities. Muslim Ramatoulaye, a Senegalese abandoned wife adjusts to her new role with utter strength tinged with sorrowfulness. As I stated earlier, many African societies had strong cultural and traditional ways that influenced how one viewed or understood the religion of Islam. One that stuck in my mind is the total disregard for women that these men are said to possess. This self-respect and independence puts her in good stead to deal with the suitors after the death of Modou.
We need to understand where we are both coming from so that we can take this conversation to the next level. It is not only the fact that this is the most deeply felt presentation of the female condition in African fiction that gives distinction to this novel, but also its undoubted literary qualities, which seem to place it among the best novels that have come out of our continent. Filed Under: , Tagged With: , , , I first read this book in 2008. We were full of nostalgia, but resolutely progressive. You make a very good living. 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. 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.
My heart rejoices each time a woman emerges from the shadows. To the dismay of her 12 children, Ramatoulaye doesn't ask for a divorce, instead opting to live a separate life from her husband Modou. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback. All in all, I'm happy to have read a book in French again. We never spoke politics in our home as children, but my parents always behaved in a manner that suggested we were not part of the power structure of the North. Adding a rival to my life was not enough.
A recently widowed Senegalese woman Ramatoulaye writes a diary in the form of a letter to her best friend, in which she recounts both her and her friend's experience with their husbands' taking a second wife. It may be that way for a lot of books, we always understand them differently later on, but especially with books such as this. Ramatoulaye is proud to be a teacher, and aware of the responsibilities she has; her husband, too, came back to serve the nation after studying in France without getting seduced by Europe. My children, who disagreed with my decision, sulked. Aissautou knew all too well what Ramatoulaye was experiencing; she also had to deal with this heartbreaking ordeal when her husband decided to take on a second wife. Awards: Winner of the Noma Award for publishing in Africa Description: x, 96 pages ; 22 cm Other Titles: Si longue lettre.
Yakubu Gowon himself gained nothing from the arduous sacrifices he made. At the beginning Ramatoulaye appears as a weak, submissive woman, but the more obstacles she has to overcome, the more her strength shines through. I planned to read it at the beginning of the summer, but I procrastinated and ended up reading it in late July. The writer is Ramatoulaye; her husband, has died suddenly and she is has to remain in seclusion for four months and ten days as per her religious strictures Islamic. The English translation of the novel was first published in 1981. The novella could easily be read in one sitting, it is full of human warmth and wisdom and well worth taking time to read.