The Abandoned Baobab: The Autobiography of a Senegalese Woman

Ken Bugul, Author Lawrence Hill Books $9.95 (159p) ISBN 978-1-55652-113-3
In a wise, stirring, fresh and lyrical account, superbly translated, Ken Bugul (pseudonym of Marietou M'Baye) describes the pain and confusion of growing up in a West African country where residual French colonial influences disrupt her family life and make her feel a stranger among her own people. Memories of playing ``underneath an immense baobab tree, across from the family house'' in her village disappear when young Ken is sent to board with an aunt in town so she can attend the French high school nearby. Angry at her mother's abandonment and eager to go abroad, Ken accepts a government scholarship to study at an institution of higher learning in Belgium. Though she tries to make herself feel at home in Brussels, associating primarily with whites, loneliness and cultural isolation start her on a terrifying journey of self-discovery. Eventually, Bugul's yearning for a ``mother's lap, a place to rest her head'' draws her back to Senegal, even though she knows she cannot regain her ``lost childhood.'' (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 159 pages - 978-1-55652-114-0
Paperback - 180 pages - 978-0-8139-2737-4
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