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So Long a Letter
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
16 posts | 24 read | 54 to read
Written by award-winning African novelist Mariama B and translated from the original French, So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africas 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences some wistful, some bitterrecounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong friend, Aissatou, it is a record of Ramatoulayes emotional struggle for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage by taking a second wife. This semi-autobiographical account is a perceptive testimony to the plight of educated and articulate Muslim women. Angered by the traditions that allow polygyny, they inhabit a social milieu dominated by attitudes and values that deny them status equal to men. Ramatoulaye hopes for a world where the best of old customs and new freedom can be combined. Considered a classic of contemporary African womens 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. Winner of the prestigious Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.
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8little_paws
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

Clocking in at only 95 pages this translated epistolary novella addresses the life of a Muslim woman in Senegal who is frustrated with the polygamy present in her culture and is left to raise 12 children after her unfaithful husband dies. It also addresses colonialism and changing cultures--a perfect book for a readathon or for your reading challenges! I counted it as epistolary for #readharder #summersendreadathon

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Reviewsbylola
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Sometimes a certain book comes into your head when you see a prompt and you‘re not exactly sure why. This is that book for me today.

A powerful epistolary novella, this is a letter written by Ramatoulaye to a friend after the demise of her marriage. She is coming to terms with her past, in a melancholy but hopeful way.

#ayeupaugust #crymeariver

Cinfhen Isn‘t it strange how our minds work?? My daughter read this in HS and couldn‘t stop talking about it. It left such an impression on her 2mo
squirrelbrain Sounds fabulous! ❤️ 2mo
Reviewsbylola I read it for a college course and felt the same way! @Cinfhen 2mo
79 likes9 stack adds3 comments
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Libby1
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

A beautifully crafted, perfect novella.

Ramatoulaye is a Senegalese woman who has recently been widowed. She is a teacher, and the mother of many children. She writes a letter to her friend during a difficult time, and it is vibrant and beautiful and sad and hopeful.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

RachelO Sounds beautiful! 3mo
andrew61 Really good read. 3mo
54 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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andrew61
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

If anyone asks why i read so much this book is the perfect example of one reason, the ability to step into a life i cannot experience but need to understand. This is a 94 page letter from a Senegalese woman whose husband, having taken a second wife, dies suddenly having abandoned his 1st family of 12 children. Fiercely independent, this Muslim woman asserts the rights of women in the face of cultural pressure to take a new husband. Enlightening.

Tamra What a transport! 6mo
Nute I agree with you, Andrew. Reading takes us so many places that otherwise we never would have even imagined to go. Stacking this book for the journey. Thanks for sharing! 6mo
readtheworld Love this book! 6mo
40 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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andrew61
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Picked up my library reservation for my female diverse a-z (of which im not making a lot of progress) and called in for a quick pint. And of course photo of book.

saresmoore Cheese & onion crisps! These were mentioned a few times in the book I just finished. Apparently, performing CPR on someone who just ate some might put you off the flavor for a while. 🙃 7mo
24 likes1 comment
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Afua
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

I am a woman trying to find my place in this world. I am a woman who is, more than ever, aware of what it means to be an African woman navigating this world.

Books like this make me exceedingly grateful for the gifts of the voices of women before me. For the truths told and the representation of African feminism. Of words that reach across decades with so much ease and could easily be the words of my mother, and hers before her...Deeply grateful.

Nute Say it loud! It is definitely the words and the stories of our ancestors and those who came before us who shape us.🧡 8mo
5 likes1 comment
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Nickinpa
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
Pickpick

A little gem of a novella

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WomanistBibliophile
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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If today moral fatigue makes my limbs stiff, tomorrow it will leave my body. Then, relieved, my legs will carry me slowly and I shall again have around me the iodine and the blue of the sea. The star and white cloud will be mine. The breath of wind will again refresh my face. I will stretch out, turn around, I will vibrate. Oh, health, live in me. Oh, health...
//
#waterfalling #visionary

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jveezer
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

Ever wonder how polygamy works? Well, not to a woman‘s advantage, of course. This book highlights that through the stories of two life-long friends taking different paths as they navigate the disaster of their husbands taking a second and younger wife, as their religion and culture allows. (Rules written by men. Surprise! Bissimilai!). An articulate, epistolary novel of Senegal that highlights the struggle of African women for enlightenment.

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jveezer
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Reading for #BlackHistoryMonth while acknowledging my privilege of being able to read about African women's struggle from the safety and security of a South Orange County CPK. #BehindTheOrangeCurtain #Satyagraha

Leftcoastzen #BehindTheOrangeCurtain Now I know you are the genuine article!😁Me,former Long Beach, Belmont Heights . 2y
10 likes1 comment
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Arrowhm
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Im writing a paper on this book, but I'm not sure what direction to take the paper yet. Have anyone of you read this book? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

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BarbaraBB
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

This short novel is written in the form of a letter from Ramatoulaye to her childhood friend, Assiatou, on the death of her husband. These two women share the experience of a happy marriage until the moment their husbands have taken young, second wives.
In her letter Ramatoulaye writes her thoughts on polygamy, mourning, widowhood and motherhood. An intimate portrait of an emancipated woman in Senegal, filled with hope.
#1001books

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Reviewsbylola
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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My favorite class in college was African Lit, mostly because it was taught by my favorite professor, Dr. Abala. I felt that her class and the books we read elicited such great discussions. She is also a published author, with one of her books being on the right. The other two books we actually read for the course. I'm sure there were more, but I can't recall them. #lyricalapril #africa

RealLifeReading What's the title of your professor's book? 2y
Reviewsbylola @reallifereading The one I own is called Move Over, Trufoso. It's a children's book and I bought it years and years ago. It looks like it is hard to find now. The picture is the back of (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I wish I could redo my college education....I would take such different courses and would have chosen a different major! Your course sounds fascinating! 2y
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Cinfhen BTW my daughter's favorite book from HS was So Long a Letter, she's been telling me to read it for years! 2y
Reviewsbylola I was an English major. It was awesome! I chose it solely because I love to read. 😂 Letter was very good and it's super short too! @Cinfhen (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Smart choice, I was a marketing major... 2y
Reviewsbylola That definitely doesn't sound nearly as fun! @Cinfhen 2y
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EricaCurtis11
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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This is an epistolary novel as the title suggests. The protagonist takes the opportunity to write about her husband's death to a long time friend and gives the reader a look into the life of women in post-colonial Senegal. #womenintranslation #aprilbookshowers

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Moray_Reads
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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Pickpick

A short book that really packs a punch. Mariama Bâ's deeply personal narrative explores the complexity of marriage, polygamy, motherhood and widowhood as a woman and a Muslim in Senegal. Competing pressures of faith, tradition and the freedoms and dangers of modernity are beautifully evoked with not a single word wasted.

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Litsy
So Long a Letter | Mariama B
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It's Women in Translation month! Here are a few wonderful books to check out. (Links in comments.) There are soooooooo many more we could name - tell us some of your favorites below! 📚❤️ #LitsyRecommendations

163 likes18 stack adds22 comments