What Is Africa to Me?: Fragments of a True-to-Life Autobiography (The Africa List)
by Maryse Conde
Publication Date: Jul 15, 2017
List Price: $27.50 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 264
Imprint: Seagull Books
Publisher: Seagull Books
Parent Company: Seagull Books
Maryse Cond is one of the best-known and most beloved French Caribbean literary voices. The author of more than twenty novels, she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2015 and has long been recognized as a giant of black feminist literature. While Cond has previously published an autobiography of her childhood, What Is Africa to Me? tells for the first time the story of her early adult years in Africa—years formative not only for her, but also for African colonies appealing for their own independence.
What Is Africa to Me? traces the late 1950s to 1968, chronicling Cond ’s life in S kou Tour ’s Guinea to her time in Kwame N’Krumah’s Ghana, where she rubbed shoulders with Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Julius Nyerere, and Maya Angelou. Accusations of subversive activity resulted in Cond ’s deportation from Ghana. Settling down in S n gal, Cond ended her African years with close friends in Dakar, including filmmakers, activists, and Haitian exiles, before putting down more permanent roots in Paris.
Cond ’s story is more than one of political upheaval, however; it is also the story of a mother raising four children as she battles steep obstacles, of a Guadeloupean seeking her identity in Africa, and of a young woman searching for her freedom and vocation as a writer. What Is Africa to Me? is a searing portrait of a literary genius—it should not be missed.