The autobiography of a small boy growing up in French Guinea, in the valley of the Niger. There's assumption of the dignity of his people, descendants of the black Sudanese, their pride in their way of life. There's rational Mohammedanism thinly coating animistic beliefs and superstitions. Women hold a role in advance of many Mohammedan countries. The story, with few incidents, conveys a rounded sense of his coming into manhood, and it has compelling charm.