So Long a Letter

Mariama Bâ's So Long a Letter is a short epistolary novel about recently widowed Ramatoulaye, whose husband betrayed her by taking a much-younger second wife.  In a letter to her best friend Aissatou, she reflects a long marriage, one filled first with happiness and then, after her husband's second wedding, with anguish and resentment.

Mariama Bâ won the Noma Award in 1980 for her first novel, So Long a Letter.  Born in Dakar, Senegal, Bâ worked as both a teacher and an education inspector, and later became active in Senegalese politics and women's rights. She passed away in 1981, a year before her second book, Scarlet Song, was published.

Published:  1981
Length:  90 pages
Set in:  Senegal
Translated by:  Modupe Bode-Thomas