AMBIGUOUS ADVENTURE by Cheikh Hamidou Kane


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Both the author and hero of this novel are young, French-educated, Genegalese Negroes, whose basic heritage is African and devout Mohammedan. The book is basically not autobiographical, but a poetic-philosophical exploration of the differences between Westerners and Africans; its first half is full of striking definitions. Samba Diallo, the hero, is the son of a knight of the Diallobe. His education, and that of other chiefs' sons, has been entrusted to a stern Mohammedan with whom the boys live. But the chieftains worried by the pressures from the West, finally agree to send their children to the French school. The dialogues between the teacher, the knight, and the French contain many profound truths and criticisms about Western ""progress"" versus the African views of God and man; the book should be read if only for these. The latter half, where Samba Diallo is a young man in Paris tends to become diffused, as the boy himself is diffused and nullified by an alien ulture. He returns to his homeland to be accidentally and appropriately killed.... A timely book, full of sensitive commentary on an aristocratic African culture.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1963
ISBN: 0435901192
Publisher: Walker