Biographie. Abdulai Sila was born in Catió, a small town in the south of Guinea- Bissau. He currently lives in the capital city Bissau and combines ICT work with. installment, we’ll be discussing The Ultimate Tragedy, by Abdulai Sila (Novel, Guinea Bissau). The first novel to be translated into English from Guinea Bissau, . : The Ultimate Tragedy (Dedalus Africa) (): Abdulai Sila, Jethro Soutar: Books.

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I really enjoyed the characters in this one, especially the chief though found the narratives on his musings about thinking to be a bit long winded. The passages in which Ndani falls in love at last are beautiful and joyous, as are the descriptions of her discovery of sexual fulfillment. As the pages turn, you begin to find your way into the world of the book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Return to Book Page.

Abdulai Sila « A year of reading the world

Abdulai SilabookscultureDedalusGuinea-Bissauliteraturepublishingtranslation 9 Comments. Inthis book apparently became the first novel though more of a novella really, clocking in around pages from Guinea-Bissau to be translated into English.

This is one of several aspects of the book that those used to Western literature may find off-putting at first. Lists with This Book. Overall I found the novel very good, helping me to connect to the characters and get a good picture of the history and culture of Guinea-Bissau.

Poole rated it it was amazing Jan 23, This book is not yet featured on Listopia. The translation is a bit clunky, but I think the characterization and themes abdulzi across very well despite this flaw. Primata Abfulai rated it it was amazing Jul 01, This book is interesting, although I wish it had been structured differently, or at least edited so that the sections were more clearly delineated. The story felt a bit disjointed at times, with various gaps that could have been better filled, but overall I really liked the story telling and how every character came together by fate or coincidence.


Translator Southar has done deft work to encourage the learning process that this text demands. By choosing to leave numerous words in their original language and trusting to the context to elucidate them, he encourages readers to let go of the guide rope of the narrative and become comfortable with the unfamiliar.

But nor should they. After a few chapters, it skips abruptly to a village chief, smarting over an insult from a colonial official and thinking at great, repetitive length about the paramount importance of thinking. Lillian Whiting rated it it was ok Jul 28, Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Abdulai Silá

Sometimes these issues are stated explicitly, but often they are woven through the thought processes of the characters. Tom rated it liked it Mar 14, When I opened the email, my excitement grew. Chief among these are the damage wrought by colonialism and the resultant doublethink with which generations abdupai Bissau-Guineans have been indoctrinated. Frank Kasell rated it it was amazing Oct 11, sia Want to Read saving….

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I figure Ndani was nuts. Refresh and try again.

Efemia rated it it was ok Jan 05, The translation is fairly smooth, but a number of words and concepts are left untranslated, and these are not always immediately obvious from context; most of these words appear to be from a local African language and were probably untranslated in the Portuguese original too, but a glossary would help foreign readers understand the references to local culture better.

The tragedy that does ultimately affect the protagonist is a much more diffuse and meandering affair than many of us might be used to seeing in novels — certainly novels written in English. Instead, it is we who need to learn how to read it.


The problem, you come to realise, is not with the writing, as you might have first thought a common knee-jerk reaction to the unfamiliar that we literary explorers must always be careful to interrogate.

Then she falls in love with abfulai local teacher, a young man trained by priests but questioning the righteousness of colonial rule. As such, it is an important addition to our bookshelves. On a pickier note, there were some issues with the translation that also bothered me, although they were pretty easily overcome.

She has been told that her life will be a series of tragedies, and she is determined to prove that prediction wrong. There were several Portuguese words that were left in the Portuguese that really needed some kind xila definition or explanation, even if the translator abdulzi to do it in a footnote. Instead, I was just mostly confused. I found myself wishing this book had been edited differently.

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Virginie rated it really liked it Jul 10, Guinea-Bissau was one of the toughest nations to find something to read from. The stories come together when the chief marries Ndani who has somehow learned to be a great lady by being a housegirl, yet is somehow the only such woman available even though the earlier chapters show that there are plenty of housegirls, and Ndani is not the brightest bulb on the tree.

Several Portuguese words, however, were left that had an obvious English translation, and it was unclear to me why the translator did not translate that word. I really enjoyed this one. However, those who persevere will be rewarded. Amanda rated it liked it Jan 19, To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.