Far from My Father
Véronique Tadjo. Translated by Amy Baram Reid. Afterword by Amy Baram Reid
"To attain some sort of universal value," Véronique Tadjo has said, "a piece of work has to go deep into the particular in order to reveal our shared humanity." In Far from My Father, the latest novel from this internationally acclaimed author, a woman returns to the Côte d'Ivoire after her father’s death. She confronts not only unresolved family issues that she had left behind but also questions about her own identity that arise amidst the tensions between traditional and modern worlds. The drama that unfolds tells us much about the evolving role of women, the legacy of polygamy, and the economic challenges of daily life in Abidjan. On a more autobiographical level, the author depicts a daughter’s efforts to come to terms with what she knew and did not know about her father.
Set against the backdrop of civil strife that has wracked the Côte d'Ivoire since the turn of the century, this story shows Tadjo’s remarkable ability to inhabit a character’s inner world and emotional landscape while creating a narrative of great historic and cultural dimensions.
CARAF Books: Caribbean and African Literature Translated from the French
Véronique Tadjo is certainly one of the most highly acclaimed African francophone writers of our time. Far from My Father is not only about a tragic political situation; it also speaks to just about anyone who has lost a parent, and of how one deals with such a loss. Amy Reid’s translation is quite simply excellent.
Véronique Tadjo is a poet and novelist, a public intellectual and critic, and a writer of creative nonfiction and children’s literature. Her novel Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice, also translated by Amy Reid, was named an NPR Favorite Book of 2010. The original edition in French won the Le Grand Prix Littéraire d´Afrique Noire. Amy Baram Reid is Professor of French Language and Literature at the New College of Florida.