Conde, Maryse Segu

ISBN 13: 9780140259490

Segu

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"A wondrous novel" (New York Times) by the winner of the 2018 Alternative Nobel prize in literature (the New Academy Prize)

The year is 1797, and the kingdom of Segu is flourishing, fed by the wealth of its noblemen and the power of its warriors. The people of Segu, the Bambara, are guided by their griots and priests; their lives are ruled by the elements. But even their soothsayers can only hint at the changes to come, for the battle of the soul of Africa has begun. From the east comes a new religion, Islam, and from the West, the slave trade.

Segu follows the life of Dousika Traore, the king’s most trusted advisor, and his four sons, whose fates embody the forces tearing at the fabric of the nation. There is Tiekoro, who renounces his people’s religion and embraces Islam; Siga, who defends tradition, but becomes a merchant; Naba, who is kidnapped by slave traders; and Malobali, who becomes a mercenary and halfhearted Christian.

Based on actual events, Segu transports the reader to a fascinating time in history, capturing the earthy spirituality, religious fervor, and violent nature of a people and a growing nation trying to cope with jihads, national rivalries, racism, amid the vagaries of commerce.

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From the Inside Flap:

A powerful novel of Africa's history and the men and women who determined its fate. From the East came Islam. From the West, the slave trade. The battle for Africa's soul had begun...
"A wondrous novel about a period of African history few other writers have addressed... Much of the novel's radiance comes from the lush descriptions of a traditional life that is both exotic and violent."
-THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Segu is an overwhelming accomplishment. It injects into the density of history characters who are as alive as you and I. Passionate, lusty, greedy, they are in conflict with themselves as well as with God and Mammon. Maryse Conde has done us all a tremendous service by rendering history so compelling and exciting. Segu is a literary masterpiece I could not put down."
-LOUISE MERIWETHER

About the Author:

A native of Guadeloupe, Maryse Condé lived for many years in Paris, where she taught West Indian literature at the Sorbonne. The author of several novels that have been well received in France (both Segu and its sequel were best-sellers), she has lectured widely in the United States and now divides her time between Guadeloupe and New York city, where she teaches at Columbia University.

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9780241293515: Segu

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ISBN 10: 0241293510 ISBN 13: 9780241293515
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