Three Strong Women

Three Strong Women

Book - 2012
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In this new novel, the first by a black woman ever to win the coveted Prix Goncourt, Marie NDiaye creates a luminous narrative triptych as harrowing as it is beautiful.

This is the story of three women who say no: Norah, a French-born lawyer who finds herself in Senegal, summoned by her estranged, tyrannical father to save another victim of his paternity; Fanta, who leaves a modest but contented life as a teacher in Dakar to follow her white boyfriend back to France, where his delusional depression and sense of failure poison everything; and Khady, a penniless widow put out by her husband's family with nothing but the name of a distant cousin (the aforementioned Fanta) who lives in France, a place Khady can scarcely conceive of but toward which she must now take desperate flight.

With lyrical intensity, Marie NDiaye masterfully evokes the relentless denial of dignity, to say nothing of happiness, in these lives caught between Africa and Europe. We see with stunning emotional exactitude how ordinary women discover unimagined reserves of strength, even as their humanity is chipped away. Three Strong Women admits us to an immigrant experience rarely if ever examined in fiction, but even more into the depths of the suffering heart.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307594693
Branch Call Number: NDIAYE M
Characteristics: 293 pages ; 22 cm.


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Dec 21, 2013

This novel contains three loosely connected stories. One tells of a French born lawyer who returns to Senegal to her father's home, a rich tyrant who has failed the son he abducted years ago. One is the story of a white man who married a teacher in Senegal and forced her to return to provincial France with him. He is depressed and trying to find a way to understand the heritage of his past. The third story tells of an uneducated widow who is trying to emigrate to France. The book sheds light on the space between Africa and France and is unrelentingly bleak. Prix Goncourt 2009.

Feb 10, 2013

I wanted to read this novel because it's nominated for the Booker Prize, and the library owned it. Each character has a bleak existence, sadly because of the men in their lives. Certain details were left out, but maybe this was intentional. At any rate, NDiaye creates characters that we all know in some shape or form.


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