The belly of the atlantic by fatou diome

            As the african cup of nations drew to a close at the weekend this book from the around world challenge seemed just perfect .Set on a small Senegalese island of Niodior and france it follows ,what one may call the modern african dream of playing football in the rich european leagues .

          The story itself centres on the brother and sister Sallie and Madicke ,Sallie is struggling in france whilst her brother still in Niodior dreams of following her and becoming the next african star in europe .whilst he does so he is a school with his idealistic teacher/football coach Ndetare and in his village there is Moussa a broken man who did persue his dream by being picked up by a french club travelling to france to then find his dreams shatter end up in a poor job in france .Madicke seems oblivious to this as he watches the world cup unfolding on the tv entranced by the italien team and his hero maldini as they play the french in the final ,his dreams are heighten by Senegals great run in the world cup too . The book is wonderfully written and is gripping from start to finish ,as a football fan i loved it but feel any thats not would it is really about the struggle of life in modern africa and the immigrant experience in france .

The  golden goal ! screamed Garouwale in the midst of the uproar,imitating the commentator .”Henri Camara”!He’s scored again! It’s the gtolden goal !Senegal’s beaten Sweden! It’s there ticket to Osaka!The lion of Teranga are through to the quarterfinals of the world cup ! it’s unbelievable!

a quote from book as Madicke watches the world cup .

What is you favourite novel involving sport ?

Do you enjoy african fiction ?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 18:04:05

    Love your new blog theme, Stu. Looks fantastic.

    I have liked the few African novels which I have read, but I admit that the football content of this one would put me off, even though you say that that is not really what it is about.

    What nationality is the author? (Sorry if I missed this in your post.)


    • winstonsdad
      Feb 04, 2010 @ 18:08:53

      she is from senegal ,it is a good look on modern africa ,my enthusiasm is up for african lit after seeing Ben Okri last year


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  4. Sarah
    Mar 08, 2016 @ 10:18:19

    This caught my eye from your International Women’s day list. I’m always on the lookout for great fiction in translation for my Around the World in 80 books reading challenge, and this has the added golden bonus of football – what joy! I’m ordering it now! 🙂


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February 2010


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