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Writing in French in the 1950s, Ferdinand Léopold Oyono (1929-2010) had only a brief literary career, but his anticolonialist novels are considered classics of twentieth-century African literature. Like Oyono's Houseboy, also available from Waveland Press, this novel fiercely satirizes the false pretenses of European colonial rule in Africa. Meka, a village elder, has always been loyal to the white man. It is with pride that he first hears he is to receive a medal. While waiting for the ceremony, however, Meka's pride gives way to skepticism. At the same time, his wife has realized that the medal is being given to her husband as compensation for the sacrifices they have made. The events following the ceremony confirm Meka's new estimation of the white man.
Both subtle and oftentimes humorous, this beautifully told story lays bare the hollowness of the mission in Africa. It fuels opportunities for discussing colonial politics around class and race as well as for exploring indigenous Cameroon life and values.
Other titles by African writers from Waveland Press:
Ba, So Long a Letter (ISBN 9781577668060)
Beti, The Poor Christ of Bomba (ISBN 9781577664185)
Emecheta, Kehinde (ISBN 9781577664192)
Equiano, Equiano's Travels (ISBN 9781577664871)
Head, The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales (ISBN 9781478607601)
Head, Maru (ISBN 9781478607618)
Head, When Rain Clouds Gather (ISBN 9781478607595)
La Guma, In the Fog of the Seasons' End (ISBN 9781478600251)
Marechera, The House of Hunger (ISBN 9781478604730)
Mofolo, Chaka (ISBN 9781478607151)
Ngugi-Mugo, The Trial of Dedan Kimathi (ISBN 9781478611318)
Nwapa, Efuru (ISBN 9781478611011)
Oyono, Houseboy (ISBN 9781577669883)
p'Bitek, Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol (ISBN 9781478604723)
Plaatje, Mhudi (ISBN 9781478609575)
Rifaat, Distant Views of a Minaret and Other Short Stories (ISBN 9781478611288)
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"The novel is rich with humorous and ironic insight about both Africans and Europeans in Africa. The ignorance and hypocrisy of many of the French colonialists is trenchantly critiqued by Oyono. The book is both tender and sharp toward the African communities it portrays." --Thomas Lynn, Penn State Berks
"Ferdinand Oyono is a brilliant and engaging author who, in this novel, successfully addresses the hypocrisy of colonialism with subtle seriousness and satire. Though fairly short, the novel analyzes a wide range of historical and social issues." --Philip Effiong, Michigan State University
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Book Description Waveland Press, 2013. Soft Cover. Condition: New. New soft cover. 167 pages. Seller Inventory # 209907
Book Description Waveland Press, Inc., 2013. Paperback. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 1478609583_abe_bn
Book Description Waveland Press, Inc., 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1478609583
Book Description Waveland Press, Inc., 2013. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 167 pages. 7.90x5.50x0.50 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 1478609583
Book Description Waveland Press, Inc., 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. 1. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1478609583n