At the beginning of this masterpiece of African literature, Clarence, a white man, has been shipwrecked on the coast of Africa. Flush with self-importance, he demands to see the king, but the king has just left for the south of his realm. Traveling through an increasingly phantasmagoric landscape in the company of a beggar and two roguish boys, Clarence is gradually stripped of his pretensions, until he is sold to the royal harem as a slave. But in the end Clarence’s bewildering journey is the occasion of a revelation, as he discovers the image, both shameful and beautiful, of his own humanity in the alien splendor of the king.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Realistic portrayal of African life from the point of view of an African writer. A whole different perspective of village life. A brilliant development of character as the lone White man comes to grips with African society and way of life to finally find acceptance and peace. A beautiful book in terms of writing, plot, and theme.
This was an ok read. After reading the likes of Nervous Conditions, The Joys of Motherhood, The River Between, you get my point, I was expecting more. Really nothing to write home about. ~~Montage is author of The Women of Sugar Hill & Duggan, as well as producer of the upcoming documentary, Street Life: Changing Faces
I read this biik 40 years ago and loved it to death. I returned to it over and over again until the pages were loose. Now I have a replacement copy and have returned to the volue and life affirming words of Camara Laye.
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