Thursday, August 27, 2009

Doomi Golo: Nettali

Doomi Golo: Nettali is the title of the book, which I found by the happiest coincidence. I read a short story by Joob in "Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing" and wanted to find out more, his biography on wikipedia claimed this book was the only novel ever written in Wolof.

Unfortunately I could not find anywhere online that still had it in stock. Finally I was able to land a copy at our school library, using the magic of inter library loan. I was hooked from the first line:

Addina: dund, dee. Leneen newu fi, Badu.

[Existence: to live, to die. There is nothing else here, Badu].

The book is written by a dying grandfather to his grandson who is abroad, and has not come home in a long time. It is the grandfather's attempt to explain his life, and the grandson's life to him, and leave something for his return. I am only twenty pages in, but I'd highly recommend it. Review forthcoming once I finish it, but if you can lay your hands on this and are a Wolof speaker it's already one of the best books I have read all year.

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