ABDULAI SILA PDF

A couple days later, I posted about this very exciting book of love and emerging political awareness in a countrybeginning to challenge Portuguese colonial rule. Less than a week later I received an advanced copy from Dedalus Books. The Ultimate Tragedy was published in April and in a few days — July 2nd — the book will be launched at Africa Writes. After 5 years working as an electrical engineer I moved to computing. One of my brothers — the one who was my best friend — was hit and he became paraplegic.

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March 28, By Ann Morgan in Book of the month , Post-world Tags: Abdulai Sila , books , culture , Dedalus , Guinea-Bissau , literature , publishing , translation 10 Comments Hearing about new translations coming from nations that are underrepresented in the English-language literary world is always exciting. You can imagine, then, how pleased I was when I got an email from translator Jethro Soutar a few weeks ago. When I opened the email, my excitement grew. Soutar wanted to let me know that, in part prompted by discovering through my project that there were no novels available in English by writers from Guinea-Bissau, he had made it his mission to find a work to translate from the nation.

Would I be interested in seeing an advance copy? Would I ever! Guinea-Bissau was one of the toughest nations to find something to read from. Ostensibly, the novel follows the fortunes of Ndani, a teenager who goes to work as a servant in the capital after a local magic man proclaims that she is cursed, only to find that the negative forces governing her existence are more difficult to escape than she hopes.

In practice, however, the narrative brings in the stories and perspectives of a number of different characters who Ndani encounters and there are long stretches where we hear nothing about her at all.

The tragedy that does ultimately affect the protagonist is a much more diffuse and meandering affair than many of us might be used to seeing in novels — certainly novels written in English. This is one of several aspects of the book that those used to Western literature may find off-putting at first.

Others include a rather unfamiliar approach to pacing — which sees the rapes and deaths of central characters skimmed over in a sentence or two, while football matches and long sessions of soul-searching about seemingly tangential issues can take up several pages — as well as leaps and double-backs in the chronology that can be bewildering.

However, those who persevere will be rewarded. As the pages turn, you begin to find your way into the world of the book. The problem, you come to realise, is not with the writing, as you might have first thought a common knee-jerk reaction to the unfamiliar that we literary explorers must always be careful to interrogate.

Instead, it is we who need to learn how to read it. Chief among these are the damage wrought by colonialism and the resultant doublethink with which generations of Bissau-Guineans have been indoctrinated. Sometimes these issues are stated explicitly, but often they are woven through the thought processes of the characters.

Similarly, though he rages at the atrocities perpetrated by the Europeans, his sexual fantasies about his reluctant sixth wife are riddled with the language of conquest. The idea-led quality of much of the narrative may make the book sound dry, but that is not the case. The passages in which Ndani falls in love at last are beautiful and joyous, as are the descriptions of her discovery of sexual fulfillment.

Translator Southar has done deft work to encourage the learning process that this text demands. By choosing to leave numerous words in their original language and trusting to the context to elucidate them, he encourages readers to let go of the guide rope of the narrative and become comfortable with the unfamiliar.

In addition, he has woven in some delightful language play. But nor should they. As such, it is an important addition to our bookshelves.

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An Interview with Abdulai Silá

The tragedy that does ultimately affect the protagonist is a much more diffuse and meandering affair than many of us might be used to seeing in novels — certainly novels written in English. Instead, I was just mostly confused. I abdulaj the last few pages with my mouth open and yelling nooooooo silently in my head. Ian rated it it was ok Jan 12, No trivia or quizzes yet.

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Abdulai Silá

March 28, By Ann Morgan in Book of the month , Post-world Tags: Abdulai Sila , books , culture , Dedalus , Guinea-Bissau , literature , publishing , translation 10 Comments Hearing about new translations coming from nations that are underrepresented in the English-language literary world is always exciting. You can imagine, then, how pleased I was when I got an email from translator Jethro Soutar a few weeks ago. When I opened the email, my excitement grew. Soutar wanted to let me know that, in part prompted by discovering through my project that there were no novels available in English by writers from Guinea-Bissau, he had made it his mission to find a work to translate from the nation. Would I be interested in seeing an advance copy?

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