Ken Bugul – Senegal

Goes with ‘Assuming Authority‘.

Ken Bugul: Ken is the pen name of Senegalese writer Mariètou Mbaye
Bileoma; she is a moving writer of her experiences as an abandoned child.

Ken Bugul alias Mbaye Bileoma Mariètou from Senegal

Birth date: November 28, 1948, Birthplace: Louga, Senegal, Education: Attended University of Dakar; also studied in Paris. Professional Career: She worked as a program director for ASBEF in Senegal from 1982-86. She is currently a program officer in Togo since 1987.

Filling the continental split: Subjective emergence in Ken Bugul’s Le baobab fou and Sylvia Molloy’s En breve carcel. WHAT RESULTS FROM THE TRANSIT from a clearly circumscribed “home” to a horizonless “elsewhere”-an expanse where the individual’s language, name, and identity are “other,” and the “original” appears temporarily lost? What gaps are created in the individual’s self-perception by such a passage? How does an exiled female writer reinvent and reconstruct herself in a new space– especially when this space disables any form of agency between “here” and “there”? Finally, how are the absorbing questions of alterity and alienation treated by a postcolonial or displaced subject in an autobiographical novel written from such an elsewhere?

Née il y a un peu plus de 50 ans à Louga, village du Sénégal d’où elle est originaire, béninoise par alliance, elle est diplômée de langues, spécialiste du développement et de la planification familiale, et a travaillé dans de nombreux pays africains en qualité de fonctionnaire internationale.

Depuis plusieurs années, elle vit à Porto-Novo au Bénin où elle dirige Collection d’Afrique, un centre de promotion des oeuvres culturelles ainsi que des objets d’art et d’artisanat. Dans son oeuvre qui compte aujourd’hui trois romans dont le premier, Le baobab fou, connut à sa parution un succès de scandale, il milite principalement pour les droits de la femme.

Publications / Works :

- Le baobab fou (roman). Dakar; Abidjan; Lomé: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1982.
- Cendres et braises (roman). Paris: Ed. L’Harmattan (Encres noires), 1994.
- Riwan ou le chemin de sable (roman). Paris: Ed. Présence Africaine, 1999.

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