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Dark Child (54 Edition)

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Dark Child (54 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780809015481
ISBN10: 080901548x
Condition: Student Owned
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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

The Dark Child is a distinct and graceful memoir of Camara Laye's youth in the village of Koroussa, French Guinea. Long regarded Africa's preeminent Francophone novelist, Laye (1928-80) herein marvels over his mother's supernatural powers, his father's distinction as the village goldsmith, and his own passage into manhood, which is marked by animistic beliefs and bloody rituals of primeval origin. Eventually, he must choose between this unique place and the academic success that lures him to distant cities. More than autobiography of one boy, this is the universal story of sacred traditions struggling against the encroachment of a modern world. A passionate and deeply affecting record, The Dark Child is a classic of African literature.

About the Author

Camara Laye was born in 1928 in the village of Koroussa, French Guinea. He was still in his twenties and studying engineering in France when he wrote The Dark Child. He died in Senegal in 1980.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, September 20, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
According to some sources, this is not a memoir but a novel, or "literature," though the protagonist has the same name as the author. I will approach it as a fictionalized memoir; it is better as an autobiography than it is as a novel. This tale from 1954 fits in the "leaving for school" rather than the "leaving due to war" subgenre. For this reason, and because it stops short of Laye's experiences in France, it is more romantic and, despite the author's inner turmoil about leaving, less conflicted than many of its ilk. It tells an interesting enough story of growing to manhood, including initiation rites and adolescent circumcision that make it interesting to read in conjunction with Somé's Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman and Fadumo Korn's Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival. However, the unanswered question lingering at the edges of this narrative involves the larger changes in the author's community (and his view of it) due to his maturation and coming of age and to the changes in African colonialism and self-governance. I would like to know how his understanding of his village changed even after a few years studying in the capitol, whether he in fact returned from France, as his mother wished, and if so, what he found. The author foreshadows this question less than halfway in: "But the world rolls on, the world changes, perhaps more rapidly than anyone else's.... and the proof of it is that my own totem--I too have my totem--is still unknown to me" (p. 75). This memoir would have been better had he illustrated this statement (and others like it) rather than leaving it as a loose end.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780809015481
Translator:
Kirkup, James; Jones, Ernest
Designed:
Jones, Ernest
Translator:
Kirkup, James
Translator:
Kirkup, James; Jones, Ernest
Author:
Kirkup, James
Author:
Laye, Camara
Author:
Thoby-Marcellin, Philippe
Author:
Jones, Ernest
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
African American Studies
Subject:
Guinea
Subject:
Authors, Guinean
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Camara, Laye
Subject:
Africa - General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Abridged:
Abridged Edition
Series Volume:
1244-5
Publication Date:
June 1994
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.04 x 5.41 x 0.51 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Africa » West Africa
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » World History » Africa

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