The Literature of Autobiographical Narrative

July 04, 2016
Edited by Thomas Riggs & Company, Missoula, Montana
St. James Press, 2013


“First published in French as Le Baobab fou in 1982, The Abandoned Baobab: The Autobiography of a Senegalese Woman (1991) by Ken Bugul is a fictionalized account of the author's real-life experience as an abandoned and alienated African woman struggling to form a coherent sense of identity. Labeled an autobiographical novel, the work traces the author's difficult experience of being abandoned by her mother; being raised an orphan in her native Senegalese village; rejecting African culture in favor of a colonial education; and living in Brussels, where she fights against racism, drug use, depression, and sexual exploitation before reclaiming her African cultural heritage. Throughout the text Bugul explores the legacy of colonialism in a narrative that extends the conventional strictures of autobiographical narrative to explore a wider sociopolitical and historical context.” (Thomas Riggs & Company, Missoula, Montana).

“The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated from its original Ukrainian version (1887) into two English volumes (1890)—I Am the Most Interesting Book of All (Vol. 1) and Lust for Glory (Vol. 2)—addresses the events of an adolescent Russian socialite while she was living in France in the late nineteenth century. Bashkirtseff's journal was only the second diary written by a woman to be published in France, and it is unique in the candid, humorous, and often self-centered tone employed by the young author. The diary covers Bashkirtseff's life from the age of fourteen to her untimely death in 1884, addressing social visits and events, fleeting romances, the author's radical views on gender equality, and the battle with tuberculosis that ended her life. It reveals much about the daily life of an upper-class immigrant family in turn-of-the-century France.” (Thomas Riggs & Company, Missoula, Montana).