~KINDLE ☨ So Long a Letter ♨ PDF or E-pub free

~KINDLE ⚕ So Long a Letter ⚖ This novel is in the form of a letter, written by the widowed Ramatoulaye and describing her struggle for survival It is the winner of the Noma Award 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 isfamiliar of the epistolary form is counterbalanced by a less novelized perspective, e 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 isfamiliar 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 muchof 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 Forpractical 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. We all agreed that much dismantling was needed to introduce modernity within our traditions Torn between the past and the present, we deplored the hard sweat that would be inevitable We counted the possible losses But we knew that nothing would be as before We were full of nostalgia but were resolutely progressive Mariama B , So Long a Letter Mariama B means a lot to me because she was the first African woman writer I d ever read I like to think I recognized her genius at age 14 when We all agreed that much dismantling was needed to introduce modernity within our traditions Torn between the past and the present, we deplored the hard sweat that would be inevitable We counted the possible losses But we knew that nothing would be as before We were full of nostalgia but were resolutely progressive Mariama B , So Long a Letter Mariama B means a lot to me because she was the first African woman writer I d ever read I like to think I recognized her genius at age 14 when I read So Long a Letter for the very first time but it s only now as an adult withawareness and lived experience that I really understand how powerful of a writer she was.This book seems simple enough in storyline, a long letter written by Ramatoulaye to Aissatou, her long time friend on the event of Ramatoulaye s recent widowhood The letter contains so muchthan just words to a friend though incorporates feminism, Senegalese tradition, religion, and history, all the things that were very relevant to the lives of these two women Ramatoulaye, mother of 12 children whose husband of 30 years abandoned her 5 years prior to his death for a much younger second wife, details her childhood, marriage struggles and so on The emotions that are brimming under the surface may not have had an outlet in many circumstances but in this case the protagonist has an audience in her best friend Aissatou who, when her husband decided to take on a second wife, divorced him rather than stay in a polygamous household against her wishes.I ve always been interested in stories that take place during times of transition and this letter details a lot of the thoughts and observations of the transition from colonialism to independence This winter I sat down with my 90 year old grandmother who was a young primary school English teacher during colonialism and she told me about what a hopeful time independence seemed to be for African women She told me about how empowered she felt being able to work, and another thing she mentioned was how people thought that she, as a woman in the 1940s and 50s, must be pretty eccentric to even want to work I had always thought of my grandmother as very conservative and traditional but hearing her story made me realize she wasof a rebel than I d ever be Mariama B was coincidentally born in the same year as my grandmother so rereading her thoughts on African feminism during this time really made me reflect on my conversations with my grandmother and how life changed for African women during transitions We were true sisters, destined for the same mission of emancipation To lift us out of the bog of tradition, superstition and custom, to make us appreciate a multitude of civilizations without renouncing our own, to raise our vision of the world, cultivate our personalities, strengthen our qualities, to make up for our inadequacies, to develop universal moral values in us these werethe aims of our admirable headmistress It s interesting reading this book in the 21st century, over half a century onwards from independence and realizing that that hope the continent felt was sort of misplaced and didn t come to fruition in many ways because of poor governance A powerful book that I m sure I ll love forever 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 ye 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 focusseson 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 Narrator Ramatoulaye s story, could, with a couple of tweaks, be the subject of a thread on Mumsnet or a similar forum frequented by middle aged women OMG my husband remortgaged our house to get flats for his younger girlfriend and her mum, and now he s died Only in the novel, it s beautifully written In the story it may be polygamy the narrator is unhappy about in 1970s Senegal rather than separation or a mistress, but there issimilarity and relatability than the old fashioned and Narrator Ramatoulaye s story, could, with a couple of tweaks, be the subject of a thread on Mumsnet or a similar forum frequented by middle aged women OMG my husband remortgaged our house to get flats for his younger girlfriend and her mum, and now he s died Only in the novel, it s beautifully written In the story it may be polygamy the narrator is unhappy about in 1970s Senegal rather than separation or a mistress, but there issimilarity and relatability than the old fashioned and Othery presentation of some editions of the novel might imply Besides, in the West at that time probably evenso in France than in the UK or North America women were commonly expected to turn a blind eye to male philandering and not get too upset about it.The cover and blurb of common English editions the UK ones and the Goodreads default give an impression to the Western reader of something Other and abject a struggle for survival , a woman kneeling in a desert, looking miserable This US edition is better, the flag showing it s a state of the nation novel, and the wing conveying national independence, women s liberation, the sense of new beginnings, progress and hope It s a novella under 100 pages in many editions about professional middle class people the narrator is a teacher as was the author herself , her late husband was a senior civil servant She addresses the letters of the novel to her best friend A ssatou not letters qua letters, but a format that also addresses an audience as well as her friend, explaining things they both know as would a speech at a party or family occasion, and some other types of literary letter created for publication A ssatou is an interpreter who s gone to work abroad, and her ex husband was a hospital doctor There is a lot of reflection on women s lib as it was then called as in European and American feminist novels of the mid 1960s to 1980s It would be interesting to see what parallels there are between de Beauvoir s The Second Sex and So Long a Letter presumably de Beauvoir would have beenwidely read in Francophone Senegal than US 1970s feminists but I have never finished The Second Sex to be able to make this comparison myself Ramatoulaye is a modern, educated woman who wants her daughters to study and work, but around her are other women still happy to take advantage of patriarchal habits for financial gain, and men who, for the most part, expect women to do as much at home as they did before they went out to work Men who agree with feminism, like a member of parliament the narrator knows, are on some level welcome, but on another also frustrating, because they are still hogging power and benefiting from tradition The novel has a scope extending beyond the feminist personal as political It can be seen as part of a tradition of French socio political novels like Balzac and Zola, as hinted here There is much in the book about the New Africa, countries in the decades immediately after independence, and the hopes of national improvement and advancement held by people like the narrator and her circle I should do some reading and research on this, but I found the narrator s feelings about Westernisation a surprising contrast after reading contemporary material online by indigenous activists North America and Australia NZ , about how much had been lost because of colonisers, in traditional ways of being, learning and organising society This is probably comparing apples and oranges, not simply about a changing focus of activism and scholarship over 40 years Interested in opinions and links about this from anyone better informed who is reading this post Ramatoulaye sees hope, especially for women and girls, and for society in general, in adopting West European style education and political and social structures as much as possible now that the French have left The French colonisers othered the locals as backward, and now the educated middle class of the independent nation are determined to show that their country can be equal to Europeans This was written several years before the publication of Ng g wa Thiong o s book Decolonizing the Mind, and long before that idea in a larger sense became widely talked about, as it has been increasingly in the last few years.I was also surprised so many readers find this book primarily sad Especially people who are young and have not experienced being widowed, which would bring different resonances to the reading I read it instead as someone realising she finds life easier without a husband, and mourning is part of that process Bittersweet A 2010 academic paper suggests parallels between Ramatoulaye s grief and a societal grief for social and cultural losses involved in urbanisation But the narrator is optimistic for the future of her family and country She has not had to think about the impact of climate change in that part of the world as her counterparts 40 years later might, and the novel pre dates many of the famines and wars in Africa that were to make headlines abroad in the 1980s though of course the war and politically induced famine in Biafra were only ten years earlier Again, would love to hear perspectives from people who have live d in West Africa on how this book seems in the context of modern history as seen locally, as my research so far has not turned up any articles from the region that look at this aspect of the novel Read reviewed Feb 2020 Group read for the 100 Best Women in Translation group 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 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 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 lette 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 If I m being honest, I want to like thisthan 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 strug If I m being honest, I want to like thisthan 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 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 herEbb 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 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 h 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