Aminata Sow Fall

by SENE from Dakar


Aminata Sow Fall was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal. After spending several years at the Faidherbe Grammar School, she finished her secondary schooling at the Van Vo School in Dakar. She then went to France where she obtained a license in Modern Languages. She married in 1963 and returned to Senegal where she became a teacher, before working for the National Reform Commission for the Teaching of French. Subsequently, she was appointed Director of la Propriété Littéraire [The Literary Property] in Dakar (1979-1988). She is currently the Director of both the Centre Africain d'Animation et d'Echanges Culturels and Khoudia publishing house in Fann, Dakar. Aminata Sow Fall is also at the head of the Centre International d'Etudes, de Recherches et de Réactivation sur la Littérature, les Arts et la Culture that organized regular national and international conferences in Saint-Louis.

In 1997, Aminata Sow Fall was awarded an Honorary Degree at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Aminata Sow Fall's works have taken upon a broad socio-policy range, exceededing beyond the framework of the feminist perspective. Her works touch society as a whole. The popularity of Battù was already an indication of her global appeal in the 70s, and 'Ex-Father of the Nation in the 80s. Softnesses of the Fold (1998) holds this same perspective.

The novel takes as a starting point the feelings of shame many Africans face, the many administrative annoyances endured by immigrants, personally and legally, as well as the Africans abroad. This novel is written about the African continent but also begins to turn its glance towards a global direction, and the author thus innovates this point of view [of a global community].

She writes on the misleading illusion that France is a hosting ground of "easy success" for African youth, by showing the determination of Asta (it is a female name), the protagonist, whose travels help her better appreciates what she had all along: that is to say, the richness and beauty of her own fold. Therein lies her innovation: the author goes beyond the framework of Senegalese society and addresses the question of the future of Africa. She is especially innovative in her choice of a female, not male, protagonist. But, really, it's just a simple representation of the life of Aminata Sow Fall, herself: speaking out as a Senegalese citizen, where being a woman typically intervenes with your title.


Le Revenant [The Ghost]. Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1976. (125p/). ISBN 2 7236 0109 9. Novel.

"When an honest post office worker, Bakar, realizes that he is in debt because he has been financing the extravagant needs of his circle of family and friends, he steals money from his employer and ends up in prison for misappropriation of funds. He is then abandoned by all those who had profited from his extravagance and so, Bakar decides to get his revenge."

La Grève des Bôttu [The Beggars' Strike]. Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1979. (131p.). ISBN 2 7236 0437 3. Novel.

"Mour Ndiaye does not hesitate to take draconian measures to rid Dakar's streets from its beggars in order to curry favour with the President. When the beggars are chased out of town, they regroup and reorganize. When the capital's inhabitants find it increasingly difficult to abide by the Prophet's instructions to give alms to the poor, the end of Mour Ndiaye's political career is in sight."

L'Appel des Arènes [The Call of the Wrestling Arenas]. Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1982. (144p.). ISBN 2 7236 0837 9. Novel.

"When Ndiogou and Diattou return to Senegal, they are totally cut off from their family and social connections because of their adoption of Western values. Consequently Diattou's son, Nalla, is brought up with no contact with his social milieu, his relatives and comrades. Unhappy and tormented by the arbitrary nature of this decision, Nalla begins to waste away, but finds a reason for living again when he gradually discovers the world from which his parents have tried to exclude him."

Ex-Père de la Nation [The Nation's Former Father-Figure]. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1987. (189p.). ISBN 2 85802 875 3. Novel.

"In this novel a fallen dictator reflects over the reasons for which his reign had produced a decade of oppression and misery. When he is elected with a huge majority to the office of President of the Republic, Madiam is convinced that he is going to be able to lead his country on the road towards prosperity. However, this is not to be so and his reign ends in bloodshed."

Le Jujubier du Patriarche [The Patriarch's Jujubier]. Dakar: Editions Khoudia, 1993. (146p.) ISBN 2 87895 006 2. Novel.

"In this novel, the author shows the role of history in the phenomenon of mixed castes in upper class society, giving as her example the couple Yelli and Tacko. These aristocrats of earlier times, whose ideas have not kept up with the realities of modern society, are the living proof of the poverty which ensues from a code of behaviour based on the pride of one's origins." (Back cover).

Douceurs du Bercail [Home Sweet Home]. Abidjan/Dakar: NEI/Editions Khoudia, 1998. (224p.) Novel.

Un Grain de Vie et D'espérance [Food for Thought and Tomorrow's Life]. Paris: Françoise Truffaut Editions, 2002. (144p.). ISBN 2-951661-45-2.

"Reflection on the significance of food in Senegal, followed by some twenty recipes proposed by Senegalese Chef Margo Harley."

Aminata Sow Fall:

Writer - Lecturer. Professor of Modern Lettres. Founder and person in charge for the AFRICAN CENTER Of EXCHANGES AND CULTURAL ACTIVITY(AP) (C.A.E.C.). She has travelled to all five continents with the invitation of various governments, institutions, and universities to attend and enliven conferences on her works, and on topics connected with education, culture, and peace.

Page created on 8/30/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/30/2011 12:00:00 AM

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