Gambian Literature

by - 23:21

The Gambia is one of those African countries that probably doesn't feature prominently when talking about African literature so I just wanted to showcase some of the literature from there. 

Shortlisted for the CommonWealth Writer's Prize 2008: Best First Book, Africa Region Reading the Ceiling is Dayo Forster's first novel. Ayodele’s life will tread a different path depending on a decision she makes on her eighteenth birthday, on the cusp of womanhood; but how will she choose? One path will send Ayodele to Europe, to university – and to the pain of first love. Another will have her travel the globe after suffering immeasurable loss. Still another will keep her in Africa, a mother and wife in a polygamous marriage. And in each of Ayodele’s possible lives we see how the interplay of choice and fate determines the shape of our lives. What part of us would be different if we had made different decisions? And what part of us would stay the same?

Christie's Crisis is Sally Sadie Singhateh's first novel. The story is a mystery, an adventure in which Christie and her friends try to solve various riddles involving drug trafficking, her strange grandmother, her dead father and an adopted child.

The Sun Will Soon Shine is Sally Sadie Singhateh's second novel. For an intelligent, ambitious girl growing up in a Gambian village, life holds few tempting prospects. Marriage and motherhood, often forced, are the paths assigned to most. Nyima, too, is subject to this fate, as well as having to endure the ongoing practice of genital mutilation. But ours is a heroine of immense courage, able to see beyond her situation, despite the bleakness of life. She makes it through her darkest hours, and emerges stronger on the other side, though permanently scarred by her ordeals. It is in education and work that Nyima finds her salvation, and begins to rebuild her life, and indeed be reborn. The question is, though, can she ever truly love or trust again? This is a moving and emphatic tale of a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her past and culture, and above all, the possibility of having a future to look forward to, no matter what the odds.

In Fake Love by Ebou Gaye, Ya Rose, quits her job in her native country and travels to the United Kingdom to seek greener pastures. There, she finds life extremely hard, contrary to her expectations. Consequently, she resorts to luring men into relationships with the aim of manoeuvring her way out of the awkward situation in which she finds herself.

In Costly Prices by Ramatoulie Othman, three Gambian men, Musa, Kadri and Lamin, befriend and have sex with European tourists in the hope of getting money or visas. It also focuses on the plight of the women left behind by these men and expected to wait for them while they are married to other European women. 

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