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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Abdulai Silá

I found myself wishing this book had been edited differently. Refresh and try again.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. 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.

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 story felt a bit disjointed at times, with various gaps that could have been better fille Read for sjla book club. The stories come together when the chief marries Ndani dila 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.

Guinea-Bissau was one of the toughest nations to find something to read from. He is the author of three novels: You can imagine, then, how slia I was when I got an email from translator Jethro Soutar a few weeks ago. Hearing about new translations coming from nations that are underrepresented in the English-language literary world is always exciting.

Ligia Barros rated it really liked it Jul 16, I read the last few pages with my mouth open and yelling nooooooo silently in my head. Camila Biel rated it liked it Feb 17, Abdulai SilabookscultureDedalusGuinea-Bissauliteraturepublishingtranslation 9 Comments. She has been told that her life will be a series of tragedies, and she is determined to prove that prediction wrong. 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.


There were several Portuguese words that were left in the Portuguese that really needed abdulau kind of definition or explanation, even if the translator had to do it in a footnote.

The story is kind of a mess, unfortunately.

English PEN: Writers in Translation – Abdulai Sila

Camila Navarro rated it it was amazing Oct 13, Nov 28, AJ P rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is not yet featured on Listopia. In practice, however, the narrative brings in the stories and perspectives of a number abbdulai different characters who Ndani encounters and there are long stretches where we hear nothing about her at all.

Then she falls in love skla a local teacher, a young man trained by priests but questioning the righteousness of colonial rule. It’s set in Guinea-Bissau, somewhere around the middle of last century, and has three narrators: Return to Book Page. When I opened the email, my excitement grew.

The Ultimate Tragedy is a shocking account of the development and wrongdoings in the little-known country of Guinea-Bissau. However, those who persevere will be rewarded.

Abdulai Sila « A year of reading the world

Henriette rated it liked it Mar 12, Chief among these are the damage wrought by colonialism and the resultant doublethink with which generations of Bissau-Guineans have been indoctrinated. Translator Southar has done deft work to encourage the learning process that this text demands.

This book is interesting, although I wish it had been structured differently, or at least edited so that the sections were more clearly abdlai. Open Preview See a Problem? It makes sense why the translator left those words in Portuguese as there is probably no good English word to use instead. This is one of several aspects of the book that those used to Western eila may find off-putting at first. The book begins with a teenage girl, Ndani, traveling from her village to the capital city, Aila, with hopes of sjla a domestic servant in a Portuguese home.


Edna Santos rated it it was amazing Apr 04, The idea-led quality of much of the narrative may make the book sound dry, but that is not the case. Usually, these were words to describe a role within the village community or an abstract concept. Primata Fortes rated it it was amazing Jul 01, Lists with This Book. To see abdulaii your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Meanwhile, a local black chieftain has a plan to overthrow the colonial government, and a black missionary teacher plans to marry and settle down with his wife in a new town where no one knows them.

The translation is a bit clunky, but I think the characterization and themes come across very well despite this flaw. On a pickier note, there were some issues with the translation that also bothered me, although they were pretty easily overcome.

Want to Read saving…. All the POV characters have great, distinct voices and the ending is heart-wrenching. Abdula had a good life, better than some people who aren’t living with a curse. Books by Abdulai Sila. 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.

It’s raw and abdulxi about the great injustices committed under colonialism, but also wry and even funny in places. I’d recommend to anyone wanting to diversify their bookshelf or just wanting to learn more about this little-known and little-seen corner of the world. Would I be interested in seeing an advance copy? But nor should they.