Mariama Ba was a Senegalese author and feminist. In So Long A Letter, her first novel, she conveys her frustration and ultimate acceptance of the fate of African women. Her work focused on stories of the female condition. So Long A Letter went on to win the first Noma prize for African literature in 1980. This is a short and easy read, hope you enjoy!
Written in the form of a letter. So Long A Letter is a sequence of reminiscences, some wistful, some bitter, recounted by a recently widowed Senegalese school teacher. The letter, addressed to an old friend, is a record of her emotional struggle for survival after her husband’s abrupt decision to take a second wife. Although his action is sanctioned by Islam, it is a calculated betrayal of his wife’s trust and a brutal rejection of their life together. This novel is a perceptive testimony to the plight of articulate women who live in social milieux dominated by attitudes and values that deny them their proper place.