An excellent Sunday afternoon read and pertinent to much that is being written and read in the media under the banner of the silencing of women today.This short, articulate novella is actually a conversation, or a lengthy letter from one widow to her best friend, whom she hasn t seen for some years, but who is arriving tomorrow.Our recent widow is reflecting on how she is unable to detach from memories of better times in the past, during those 25 years where she was happily married and the only wife of her husband and the bitter, heart breaking recent years where she was abandoned by him for the best friend of her daughter, a young woman, who traded the magic of youth, for the allure of shiny things with the exception of his silver grey streaks, which he in turn trades in for the black dye of those in denial of the ageing process.Was it madness, weakness, irresistible love What inner confusion led Modou Fall to marry Binetou To overcome my bitterness, I think of human destiny Each life has its share of heroism, an obscure heroism, born of abdication, of renunciation and acceptance under the merciless whip of fate.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 And to think that I loved this man passionately, to think that I gave him thirty years of my life, to think that twelve times over I carried his child The addition of a rival to my life was not enough for him In loving someone else, he burned his past, both morally and materially He dared to commit such an act of disavowal And yet, what didn t he do to make me his wife It is a lament, a paradox of feelings, a resentment of tradition, a wonder at those like her liberated and courageous friend, who in protest at her own unfair treatment an unapproving mother in law interferes reminding me of Stay with Me , took the road less travelled, taking her four sons, arming herself with renewed higher education and an enviable career abroad.It is a testament to the plight of women everywhere, who live in sufferance to the old ways of patriarchy, whose articulate social conscience has little outlet except through their children, whose ability to contribute so much is worn down by the age old roles they are continued to play, which render other qualities less effective if under utilised.I am not indifferent to the irreversible currents of the women s liberation that are lashing the world This commotion that is shaking up every aspect of our lives reveals and illustrates our abilities.My heart rejoices everytime a woman emerges from the shadows I know that the field of our gains is unstable, the retention of conquests difficult social constraints are ever present, and male egoism resists.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.Ultimately, she posits, it is only love that can heal, that can engender peace and harmony and the success of family is born of the couple s harmony, as the nation depends inevitably on the family.I remain persuaded of the inevitable and necessary complementarity of man and woman.Love, imperfect as it may be in its content and expression, remains the natural link between these two beings. Mariama Ba has crammed into less than one hundred pages a luminously beautiful reflection of an intelligent, wilful, self assured middle aged woman painfully conscious of the limits of her power in a patriarchal society, that is also a hymn to the glory of friendship between women and to the strength, courage, imagination, tenderness and sensuality of women as whole human beings interconnected to lovers, children, family members and friends.The language is elegant, fragrant of the rich, ringing tones and delicate formality of French Ramatoulaye comes across as educated, forceful, passionate yet self controlled The strength and depth of her character are what make this so essential in my opinion, it is her voice, sounding out with her whole, mature, self knowing being behind it, adding to its resonance He who scorns her or seeks to dominate her can only be held in contempt A practising Muslim, accomplished and successful professional, loving wife, attentive mother, Ramatoulaye is irreproachable by the criteria of her culture s values, even as they are swirled into the maelstrom of de colonisation and modernity Readers might object that she is just too perfect a character, but her ability to analyse, critique and narrate her situation and make choices against the grain is a radiant contrast with the images of women as hapless or helpless victims in so much literature. Amazing EPub, Une Si Longue Lettre By Mariama B This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Une Si Longue Lettre, Essay By Mariama B Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You Each profession, intellectual or manual, deserves consideration, whether it requires painful physical effort or manual dexterity, wide knowledge or the patience of an ant Ours, like that of a doctor, does not allow for any mistake You don t joke with life, and life is both body and mind To warp a soul is as much a sacrilege as murder. A comparison to Sleepless Nights is not too far apace, for what is familiar of the epistolary form is counterbalanced by a less novelized perspective, expanding that much often abused difficult to include a reader s blinkers with the usual linguistic fireworks There is also the saturation to consider ninety pages of pedagogy, politics, much maligned Islam and a little less so emotional turmoil, complete with footnotes to account for the barriers of language, culture, skin and gender In this, one must consider all the works of this country and continent that did not make it to the lists of 500 GBBW, 1001, all those one will never know on what schemes of quality they fell short The best of the best of the best are the only ones fit for global perusal, perhaps, but the childhood favorites The soap opera pleasures The quick and easy casual reading that says much of a writer who reads them than the factory produced lists of classics, enough to necessitate a covering with guilt I wonder, sometimes, what works the elite of Senegal scoff at, which ones they covet with false delight, what familiar lines of public engagement with literature I see only in the Anglo world and am missing everywhere else.In short, what works did B grow up on that are not proclaimed everywhere else I read a piece like hers that pulls out from my subconscious names like Woolf and Evans Eliot for those who have not yet caught up and wonder whether I am understanding the inspired or translating a familiar breed of inspiration Perhaps it is because this work has less of fellow Senegalese lit God s Bits of Wood s preoccupation with what is Euro and what is self, but when one searches a rare combination of demographic and finds a love, one must not be content with a lone mascot It does a disservice to literature to treat with it as a fill in the blank, rather than a living entity that existed long before you and will continue long after you re gone.I see I ve gone and not talked much about this work I say is amazing Well, the prose is beauteous, the plot treats with an entirety of life probed in a delightfully full and empathetic manner, intellect couples wondrously with love, different choices of life do not feel the need to compete with the other, the old is there and is understood, the new is there and adapted to, pain heals slow and sure and friendship is raised to the heights it deserves A personal bonus was the Muslim feminism that the temper of these times call for so desperately along with so many other categories of the written word, but I ve spent enough time on the quagmires of representation For practical folk, this is rather short and super cheap a tome, so without reservations, experience away The power of books, this marvelous invention of astute human intelligence Various signs associated with sound different sounds that form the word Juxtaposition of words from which springs the idea, Thought, History, Science, Life Sole instrument of interrelationships and of culture, unparalleled means of giving and receiving Books knit generations together in the same continuing effort that leads to progress They enabled you to better yourself. If I m being honest, I want to like this than I do And it s not the subject matter or prose, it s the orientation There s an awkward angle I just can t shake Let me explain This novella is in epistolary form a long letter from an aging widow who is progressive by her society s normative standards, perhaps boldly and bravely so to her great friend, Aissatou Both women have been transformed by their husbands decision to make them co wives Ramatoulaye, our heroine, recounts her struggles, and seems to gain strength as the novel time progresses She is not preachy or polemical She emanates a solid core of determined self respect whose authenticity provides the spongy outer layer which soaks up difficulties, insulating her from the criticism of her life ways and decisions that are often at odds with her patriarchal society So what s wrong then Well, and I admit this may be a minor quibble, I guess I just wanted it to be better crafted I kept looking for ways to justify awkward details in the letter i.e Ramatoulaye recounts details of her relationship with Aissatou that would be needless if the letter were truly written for her By the end, it seems that there is almost a successful explanation Ramatoulaye is writing, perhaps, a letter that is not meant to be delivered, a letter that is instead intended to fill out the days of her Mirasse four month, ten day mourning seclusion a strictly personal catharsis with Aissatou functioning as muse only But I have to repeat, this is almost, but not quite enough to smooth out the awkwardness, the sense of awareness that certain choices to provide context imply that the author was writing for a wider reading public, rather than maintaining the conceit of the form You probably should judge for yourself It s only about 90 pages that I certainly don t regret reading. Mariama Ba 1929 1982 was a Senegalese novelist, teacher, activist and feminist During her lifetime she was only able to publish this book Her two other works Scarlet Song and La Fonction politique des litt ratures africaines crites came out after her death This book, So Long a Letter, originally written in French, won the first Noma Prize for Publishing in Africa in 1980 and is now considered as one of Africa s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.The book is basically a long series of letters that a newly widowed woman, Ramatoulaye wrote to her friend Aissatou The two women have basically different views on many things related to being a woman in Africa For example, Ramatoulaye is the martyr type as she tolerates that her philandering husband Modou Fall falls and marries a younger woman Binetou Aissatou on the other hand, leaves her husband Mawdo the moment Aissatou learns that Mawdo has another woman They are Muslims in Africa so it is allowed to have many wives and this, plus the many gender discrimating issues, are what Mariama Ba fought when she was still on earth.The book is written in an sad outpouring of emotions kind of way Ramatoulaye has just been widowed and her pain can be glimpsed from Ba s incandescent prose It is like Ramatoulaye s reevaluation of her life as she is about to start a life without her husband that despite all his shortcomings, she misses It tackles not only about their husband and wife relationship but also the place of African women in all the schemes of things Through Ramatoulaye, Ba was able to state her case that African women are still considered as the weaker sex and are still, sadly, tolerant to being secondary to men.If the Britain has Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf, Edith Warton and Angela Carter France has Simone de Beauvoir America has Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston Africa, I would say has Mariama Ba They for me, are among the extremely talented female feminist novelists. Winner of the 1980 Noma Prize, So Long a Letter by Mariama B , translated by Modup Bod Thomas, is in the form of a long letter written by one middle aged Senegalese woman to another A recently widowed Ramatoulaye writes to her childhood friend, Aissatou The two share a similar fate in that their respective spouses took on second wives But their reactions differ Aissatou divorces her husband, raises her children, and makes a life for herself outside of Senegal Ramatoulaye opts to stay in her village and endure the public humiliation of her husband taking on a second wife, a woman young enough to be their daughter Ramatoulaye eloquently reveals intimate details of her life She falls in love with her future husband and marries him in spite of her mother s reservations They are happily married for over two decades when her husband takes on a second wife Ramatoulaye is not prone to histrionics and maintains a calm, external demeanor when hearing the news even though she is shocked at the revelation.Abandoned physically and financially by her husband, she shows her resilience and strength as she struggles to maintain the semblance of normalcy for herself and for her children She lists the challenges she faces in paying bills and putting food on the table since her husband showered all his financial support on his extravagant new wife and her family And she describes the difficulties of raising her brood of twelve children But she harbors no bitterness toward her deceased husband whom she still loves.One of the most endearing qualities that comes to the forefront in this novella is the relationship between the two friends Theirs is a wonderful sisterhood of support and respect for each other s choices When Aissatou learns of Ramatoulaye s hardship in finding adequate transportation, she buys a car for her friend to help ease her burden And for her part, Ramatoulaye never criticizes her friend for choosing the path she did Although they chose different paths, Ramatoulaye recognizes the choice one woman makes may not work for another She supports a woman s inviolable right to choose her own path and understands the pivotal role education plays in empowering women to exercise voice and choice The novella ends on a beautiful note with Ramatalouye eagerly awaiting her friend s visit to Senegal on the following day.Ramatoulaye emerges as a compassionate, sensitive, intelligent, resourceful woman who has finally come into her own She values her independence, gains strength as the novel progresses, and shocks her community by her repeated rejection of suitors seeking her hand in marriage after her husband s death Strong, dignified, empowered, and stoic, Ramatoulaye serves as a beacon of light for all women suffering injustice and oppression at the hands of men who exploit culture, tradition, or religion to gratify their selfish desires and to justify their abuse of women Highly recommended. Excellent How many novels by Senegalese Muslim women have you read Particularly ones dealing explicitly with both gender and religion This is only about 80pages long, so is a quick read, and will probably help fill a gap in your reading which, in our current political climate, should be filled as a matter of some urgency. Ebb and tide of feeling heat and dazzlement, the wood fires, the sharp green mango, bitten into in turns, a delicacy in our greedy mouths I close my eyes What you hear is the voice of the heartbroken Ramatoulaye, who has been forced into solitude according to the dictates of Islam to mourn the death of the husband who, when he lived, humiliated and abandoned her This is an epistolary a meditation on life and life s choices It is an anguished plea from one conservative woman, to her liberal best friend who, when faced with the same choice, chose freedomI listen to the words that create around me a new atmosphere in which I move, a stranger tormented Cross sections of my life spring involuntarily from my memory, grandiose verses from the Koran, noble words of consolation fight for my attentionI read this book as a high school student in Liberia, and I still remember how it seemed to taunt me there it was, on the list of books to be read in my Language and Literature class when I went to the next class, Reading,there it was again and later, in French class, guess which book was waiting in its original French version Une si longue lettre. The ebb and flow of this book is somewhat unique, as is its syntax and nuance It is also one of those books that loses some of its power through translation, but there is no mistaking its cultural and universal penetration.She is not just an African woman a Senegalese she is not just a Muslim woman She is every woman The moment you start reading this book you understand how her problems are universal, and why this book has become a statement of gender struggles an ode to the inner turmoil any woman could experience at such a midlife changeI had lost my slim figure, as well as ease and quickness of movement My stomach protruded from beneath the wrapper that hid the calves developed by the impressive number of kilometres walked since the beginning of my existence Suckling had robbed my breasts of their round firmness I could not delude myself youth was deserting my body She is not just the product of a polygamous marriage She was the other half of a two decade marriage, when she was suddenly informed by relatives, that her husband had just married her daughter s best friend She was not only forced into becoming a first wife as is often said in blurbs of this book but she was abandoned and her twelve children forgotten, when her husband left his home to parlay the town with his young wife This is not about a woman who must become the head wife of a bigger family, this is about a woman discarded by a man who pretends to do right by his religion, but in actuality, has done right by his vital organEvery night when he went out he would unfold and try on several of his suits before settling on one The others, impatiently rejected, would slip to the floor I would have to fold them again and put them back in their places and this extra work, I discovered, I was doing only to help him in his effort to be elegant in his seduction of another woman The idea that she still loves this man, is searing, but understandable The thought of her still holding on to that life, unbearable This theme of choice is an educational debate and exploration that takes place through the mothers and daughters of this novel A daughter who wants her mother to leave an unhealthy marriage a best friend who did leave and start a better life away from home a woman who left her country, only to find that she would never be at home in her husband s country an unmarried daughter who had to decide her unborn child s fate There is a saying that discord here may be luck elsewhere Why are you afraid to make the break Unlike many women of her generation, Mariama B was educated She became a pioneer for women s rights A Senegalese writer and schoolteacher who believed that the writer of a developing country needed to be the voice for the voiceless and speak out against archaic customs, she chose to do so through her fiction and main character, who is thankful for the women who were able to accomplish what she could notI am not indifferent to the irreversible currents of women s liberation that are lashing the world This commotion that is shaking up every aspect of our lives reveals and illustrates our abilities My heart rejoices each time a woman emerges from the shadows A brief, well crafted novella in the form of a letter between two middle aged friends 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 recipient is her friend Aissatou Both women have had husband problems Aissoutou s husband had taken a second, much younger wife She had divorced him as a result and had left to make a new life in America Ramatoulaye s husband had five years previously also taken a second and much younger wife and moved in with her She recounts and comments on the history of herself and her friend, setting out the role of women in Senegal pre and post independence It is beautifully written and is a testament to friendship Ba is also analysing polygamy and the way men use religious tradition to gratify and justify their desires The two women manage the problem differently, but both respect the others choices Ba sets out the situation of the married women very clearly This is the moment dreaded by every Senegalese woman, the moment when she sacrifices her possessions as gifts to her family in law and worse still, beyond her possessions she gives up her personality, her dignity, becoming a thing in the service of the man who has married her, his grandfather, his grandmother, his father, his mother, his brother, his sister, his uncle, his aunt, his male and female cousins, his friends Her behaviour is conditioned no sister in law will touch the head of any wife who has been stingy, unfaithful or inhospitable She clearly explained the effects of betrayal on Ramatoulaye and her children and explores the difficulties women can have The end of the letter focusses on the next generation and the way Ramatoulaye manages the tensions of a new generation with different expectations Ba also focuses on how the traditional cycle can change and be broken, but in a way that reflects her own culture rather than importing western solutions Ba also points to the importance of education to women note this passage which speaks of Aissatou s progress The power of books, this marvelous invention of astute human intelligence Various signs associated with sound different sounds that form the word Juxtaposition of words from which springs the idea Though, History, Science, Life, Sole instrument of interrelationships and of culture, unparalleled means of giving and receiving Books knit generations together in the same continuing effort that leads to progress They enabled you to better yourself What society refused you, they granted examination sat and passed took you also to France The School of Interpreters, from which you graduated, led to your appointment into the Senegalese Embassy in the United States You make a very good living You are developing in peace, as your letters tell me, your back resolutely turned on those seeking light enjoyment and easy relationships There is an interesting juxtaposition here The letter progresses from colonial to post colonial times and Ba notes how for women to progress they to access education and there is a similar movement from oppression and towards freedom The novella could easily be read in one sitting, it is full of human warmth and wisdom and well worth taking time to read.