n French Studies in Southern Africa - Tu t'appelleras Beyala ou la vision de Calixthe

Volume 2008, Issue 38
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



Calixthe Beyala's first novels - commonly known as the African trilogy - are among her most original ones, as they open new perspectives in African women's writing and anticipate her own career. Her second novel in particular, , is pivotal in this process, showing the change, in the trilogy, from a first person narrative (as was still the norm in novels written by African women in the 1980's), to a narrative where there is a clear distinction between author and narrator, as is prevalent in her later work. This evolution is part of Beyala's literary project, the aim of which is to make her mark as part of the literary establishment and of the world of publishing. In order to comprehend the specificity of the Cameroonian author's first fictional works, the relationship between language, as a tool to fictionalize the surrounding world, and prostitution, one of the main themes of the novel and also a way to survive in a depressed modern African environment, will be analyzed.

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