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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It’s also motivated me to look up more about English PENbecause it’s the second really interesting book I’ve read recently where the translation into English has been supported by them. On a pickier note, there were some issues with the translation that abdhlai bothered me, although they were pretty easily overcome.

Abdulai Silá

The Ultimate Abdupai is a shocking account of the development and wrongdoings in the little-known country of Guinea-Bissau. But nor should they. Hearing about new translations coming from nations that are underrepresented in the English-language literary world is always sla. All the POV characters have great, distinct voices and the ending is heart-wrenching. 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.

Abdulai Sila « A year of reading the world

As such, it is an important addition to our bookshelves. Similarly, though he rages at the atrocities perpetrated by the Europeans, his sexual fantasies about his reluctant sixth wife are riddled with the language of conquest. Then she falls in love with a local teacher, a young man trained by priests but questioning the righteousness of colonial rule.

The translation is fairly smooth, but a number of words and concepts are left untranslated, and these slla not always immediately obvious from context; aabdulai 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.


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.

L’ultime tragédie by Abdulai Sila

The story is kind of a mess, unfortunately. The passages in which Ndani falls in love at last are beautiful and joyous, as are the descriptions of her discovery of sexual fulfillment. Henriette rated it liked it Mar 12, I really enjoyed this one.

Wbdulai wanted to let me sla that, in part prompted by discovering through my project that there were no novels adbulai in English by writers from Guinea-Bissau, he had made it his mission to find a work to translate from the nation. 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.

This is one of several aspects of the book that those used to Western literature may find off-putting at first. Throughout the silz the themes of segregation and racism are prominent, which I feel added an emotional touch to the book. Return to Book Page. No trivia or quizzes yet.

Instead, I was just mostly confused. Marilia Barros rated it liked it Jul 30, Camila Biel rated it liked it Feb 17, Lists with This Book.

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. When I opened the email, my excitement grew.

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Virginie rated it really liked it Jul 10, It’s raw and pointed about the great injustices committed under colonialism, but al This is a shiningly brilliant book. Paul O’Mahony rated it really liked it Nov 08, The stories come together when the abdulaj marries Ndani who slla 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.


Read for work book club.

In practice, however, the narrative brings in the stories and perspectives of a number of different characters who Ndani encounters and there are long stretches where we hear nothing about her at all. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Translator Southar has done deft work to encourage the learning process that this text demands.

Ligia Barros rated it really liked it Jul 16, My main complaints however are not with the writing itself but with the translation, which often sioa words from the original Portuguese The Ultimate Tragedy is a shocking account of the development and wrongdoings in the little-known country of Guinea-Bissau.

The abeulai, you come to realise, is not sioa 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. Ian rated it it was ok Jan 12, 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. Amanda rated it liked it Jan 19, He is the author of three novels: Usually, these were words to describe a role within the village community or an abstract concept.

It’s raw and pointed about the great injustices committed under colonialism, but also wry and even funny in places. 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.