le baobab fou [Ken Bugul] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Ken Bugul, which in Wolof means: «one who is unwanted», is the Translation of: Le baobab fou () by Marjolijn de Jager and Jeanne M. Garane. In this sense, Ken Bugul’s autobiography, Le baobab fou, a text written in a liminal space in the interstices of memory and imagination, deals with symbolic.

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Abandoned by her mother and sent to live with relatives in Dakar, the author tells of being educated in the French colonial school system, where she comes gradually to feel alienated from her family and Muslim upbringing, growing enamored with the West.

Academic success gives her the opportunity to study in Belgium, which she looks upon as a “promised land. It was out of concern on her editor’s part about her candor that the author used the pseudonym Ken Bugul, the Wolof phrase for “the person no one wants. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?

Le Baobab Fou by Ken Bugul

Thanks for telling us fku the problem. Return to Book Page. Le Baobab Fou by Ken Bugul. The subject of intense admiration—and not a little shock, when it was first published— The Abandoned Baobab has consistently captivated readers ever since.

The book has been translated into numerous languages and was chosen by QBR Black Book Review as one of Africa’s best ien of the twentieth century. No African woman had ever been so frank, in an autobiography, or w The subject of intense admiration—and not a little shock, when it was first published— The Abandoned Baobab has consistently captivated readers ever tou.

No African woman had ever been so frank, in an autobiography, or written so poignantly, about the intimate details of her life—a distinction that, more than two decades later, still holds true.

Caribbean and African Literature Translated from French To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions abobab Le Baobab Fouplease sign up. Lists with This Book.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Between the village in Senegal and the Belgian city. Between Bugul’s means of conveyance and my mode of decoding.

It is always hot there. It is always cold there, she says of the village, a line I’d usually have read as a boring paradox but that here leads out from me a humbled understanding that this place is out of the time I know.

Le Baobab Fou

In the city time and the narrative snagged on it roll onward like the conveyor belt of a machine, like the tread of a tank, while when Bugul’s consciousne Contrast. In the city time and the narrative snagged on it roll onward like the conveyor belt of a machine, like the tread of a tank, while when Bugul’s consciousness shifts to the village, she could be anywhere in her history or in the time of generations before. She alights there like buguk butterfly. But bobab the anchoring tree the place would vanish entirely into the desert, into an eternity where change flickers over land, hot and cold, day and night, stillness and wind.

Contrast again, between a child playing under the Baobab, experiencing the world as, it seems, a synaesthesia of sound, heat and dance, and a woman in a European city living like Europeans in malaise, searching for lost wholeness, for satisfaction and purpose, in people and drugs and art and days. She is racialised and exotified, she collapses into despair many times, but her lively spirit always blazes up undimmed. As Ken’s story in Belgium ploughs onward in fragments to a crisis, pausing in the remembered village to draw breath whenever it needs to, friends also give rest and breath.


Bugul decries the lack of love and kindness between women in Europe, where patriarchy works on a divide and rule basis. She makes friends easily and take pe in them, as well as lovers. She names colonialism as a destructive force that has shattered her, but does not elaborate; the reader has to imagine or search elsewhere for a literal description of the actions of this force: Bugul only alludes to them poetically, as when she remembers learning the letter ‘i’ in the French school she attended in Senegal.

The moment is imbued with portentous tension and even horror as the ‘i’ cannot be un-enunciated Details of her attention are like ornaments standing out from the background.

She wonders why the figure of Jesus on the cross is so sensually modelled, why his exposed thighs are muscled and bugl, when Catholicism is so virtuous.

And I remembered that Catholics believe they are eating the body of christ exchanging horror for horror with god and the firm baobag are perhaps meant to remind of appetites lavishly denied, self-denial as a kind of muddy pool at the base of being where we can wallow in piety and voluptuous hunger. Such thoughts throw exotification, the othering of the baobag, back at whiteness. Europe and its fetishes, its maladies, its strange delights, becomes other, but not to be denigrated, only put into place among places, dislodged from the centre it has occupied.

The style of writing or the translation put me at a buyul. The language seemed formal and intellectual, while the material belonged to an intimate conversation. Bubul roving consciousness foj disordered recall of vignettes made me feel that I was walking through a dream landscape, passing the buugul features over and over, never grasping exactly how to relate to them.

I closed the book and felt that I had only just started a journey After reading Good Morning Midnight and an essay on it by Gina Maria Tomasulo, in which she argues that Rhys uses ‘the underground’ as a fluid space of memory that allows her protagonist to undo some effects of trauma and re-forge connections with others, I have to encourage readers to check out the essay since Bugul uses memory in a strikingly similar way.

View all 5 comments. I didn’t much enjoy this book. Perhaps once I have a chance to talk about it with my classmates, I can get a better understanding of the novel. I don’t have high hopes, though. The overall narrative structure of the novel was very off-putting; the speaker felt quite distanced from her audience. At times it felt like listening to someone talk to herself — you feel like you’re intruding, a little krn and confused at hearing only one side of a conversation. Additionally, the chronology jumped I didn’t much enjoy this book.

Additionally, the chronology jumped around without a lot of warning or explanation. By the end of the novel, I was downright frustrated with the speaker. I felt sorry for her, yes; she absolutely experienced awful events in life no one should have to experience. But she hinted at moments, especially towards the end in scenarios with her family, where I saw intimations at ekn for her to reach out but instead she retreats, lw arrested in continually mourning a past she cannot change.


Again, maybe my classmates can help me better understand this novel and this character. For me, she did very little in the narrative form to help me really understand and connect to her. I still don’t think it’s a book I would recommend to others, but I can at least respect the discussion it evokes. Bugull 10, Binta rated it it was amazing. I loved this book.

Ken Bugul – Wikipedia

One of my favorite of all times. Es una lectura atrapante, diferente. Sep 17, Lapetitem rated it liked it. At first I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, but about half way through it started to win me over.

There were a lot of little quotes in here that I really enjoyed and rang true to fuo. But buglu were also times where it seemed to me that the book was one huge poem. But I enjoyed the book. It was also interesting to hear about how this woman interacted with white men and how they only saw her as an object. That was really interesting to me as well. Interesting content, and I loved Bugul’s perspective of the artists and liberals in Belgium who were only interested in knowing her as an Other, someone beautiful and exotic that they could brag about knowing.

But the writing, or the translation, is earnest and melodramatic. I found it hard to finish.

keb Mar 16, Heather rated it did not like it Shelves: While I can appreciate the importance of this book, I found it rather tedious to read perhaps it would have been better in the original French, but I only had it in Englishand never made it all the way to the end.

I was looking for something by a Senegalese author before going on a trip to Dakar, and this was the only thing that was readily available at the time. A really complex look at baoab woman’s relationship with location and identity – the trauma of exile. So much of the writer’s personal experiences are present in this book and it’s a very insightful and len read. I think this book was poorly translated. I couldn’t read more than a few pages– the language was terrible: The protagonist constantly referred to her father as “the father” and there were other weird things like that.

I couldn’t even bring myself gugul finish it. I have a student writing on this book.

I’m looking forward to reading it, and would love to discuss it with others. Literaturleben rated it it was amazing Apr 20, Isabel Lattke rated it it was amazing Aug 27, Amanda rated it it was amazing Apr 18, Matt baoabb it really liked it Apr 28, Maria Doubrovskaia rated it liked it Mar 12, Pooja rated it liked it Aug 01, Laura Fuentes rated it really liked it Vugul 06, Vero Jordan-Sardi rated it really liked it May 31, Martha rated it really liked it Jun 12, Mariam rated it liked it Feb 09, Jo rated it really liked it Jan 28, Annina Brun rated it it was ok Oct 15, Kaleb rated it it was amazing Mar 02, Le’onna rated it it was amazing Jun 04, Andreea-Nicoleta Leurzeanu rated it it was amazing Jun 07,