The African Child

by Camara Laye | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0006122590 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Torgin of Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on 9/13/2011
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Torgin from Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Camara Laye was born in Guinea in 1924. A child of intellectual promise, he went first to the technical college at Conakry, the capital of Guinea, and later to France to study engineering. In Paris he found a totally different culture and, lonely and unhappy, wrote his first book, The African Child.
This largely autobiographical work tells the story of his childhood among the Malinke tribe, surrounded by ritual magic and superstition, and his emergence into manhood and independence.

Camara Laye takes a child's perspektive when talking about his early childhood years and adopts this to a more understanding tone with ongoing years. The picture which he paints of his childhood days is rather idyllic so I wasn't surprised to learn that the book was quite a success in Europe. Of course, this is partly due to the publication time when decolonisation wasn't even on the brink.

Journal Entry 2 by wingholle77wing at Selm, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Many thanks for the book.

Journal Entry 3 by wingholle77wing at Selm, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Sunday, August 11, 2013
This book I read with great interest, it shows much of the African culture especially in Guinea, about the family structures and so on. Especially I liked to read the rites around the circumcision. My impression was, that the circumcision there was a mixture about tribal and islamic culture.
This book is to be send to husky next week.

Journal Entry 4 by winghuskywing at Rheinstetten, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Friday, August 16, 2013
It looks like my guess was a good one - for I had expected that by the author's name it must be a Malinké book, and since I spent three years (mostly) with mandinka people in Gambia, I am very curiuos and eager to read it. Thanks a lot!

Journal Entry 5 by winghuskywing at Rheinstetten, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Saturday, December 14, 2013
I liked this little book a lot. It is not a great novel with a lot of drive and events of imagination, but a very thorough and honest report on youth's life in remote places in Guinea. Apparently it was written while Camara staid in France, sometime in the early 1950's; but virtually all of it's content matches exactly what I have experienced in Mandinka villages in the late 1990's. I liked that different pace of life a lot. The circumcision is somehow a difficult topic but it is definitely a huge difference between male and female circumcision (rightly, Camara calls it female "excision" and makes it a difference); in some villages of the Jola tribe in Gambia I saw and learned a lot about the initiation rites (and those where not connected with Islam at all...).
I was even more impressed by Camara's report on the rice harvest, as Mandinka people are widely known for their love of rice and for their skill of cultivating it. Camara uses a very poetic, rhythmic, enjoyable language to describe this straightforward task of hard work. Also very typical is the fear of his mother that he might not get the right food, when there is talk of Camara's leaving to France... Mandinka people hardly ever try any other food that the well known items...

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Journal Entry 6 by wingtrikwing at Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Thursday, March 13, 2014
The book arrived safely, thanks!

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