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Xala [Paperback]

Ousmane Sembene
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.95
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Paperback, Aug. 1 1997 CDN $12.24  

Book Description

Aug. 1 1997
A biting satire about the downfall of a businessman-polygamist who assumes the role of the colonialist in French-speaking Africa.

Frequently Bought Together

Xala + Purple Hibiscus
Price For Both: CDN$ 26.80

  • Purple Hibiscus CDN$ 14.56

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The 'businessmen' had met to mark the day with a celebration worthy of the event. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Xala - a satire on the nouvelle bourgeoisie March 1 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The main protagonist, a member of the nouvelle bourgeoisie who lives up to the values of the former French colonists, marries his third wife - but in the wedding night he loses his virility. Whatever he tries to regain it - he is not successful until he returns to his own roots which are the roots of his people. A remarkable novel which shows a completely different world.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have seen the movie XALA not read the book..... Sept. 15 2001
Format:Paperback
and I was not impressed by it. The depth of the issues was not tackled in a deep soul seaching way. Much as the movie was done more that 20 years ago, the issues are the same today. It is sad that in such a polygamist setting the voices of the women was not actually heard effectively. The Male character was not given a chance to develop and give a good justfication for taking a second wife or even a third wife, instead it was just presented as greed... simple selfish greed, which i found utterly simplistic and patronizing. I am sure there is more to this story than that. Its nevertheless kind of refreshing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Xala - a satire on the nouvelle bourgeoisie March 1 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The main protagonist, a member of the nouvelle bourgeoisie who lives up to the values of the former French colonists, marries his third wife - but in the wedding night he loses his virility. Whatever he tries to regain it - he is not successful until he returns to his own roots which are the roots of his people. A remarkable novel which shows a completely different world.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels to date Feb. 6 2014
By Jonathan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sembene writes a compelling story about the problems of double patriarchy and blending the new and old. A short read, but an amazing one. Every part has a purpose and all the characters have depth and purpose in the story. Much better than the film representation and overall fantastic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Book Book Feb. 8 2013
By D. Mainwaring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had to purchase this book for a class, but I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed reading it. It's a fairly short book, and a quick read, but it's also an enjoyable tale. I will admit that it has some very post-colonial ideals embedded in the narrative about economic freedom, but that isn't so overwhelming as to turn the story into a parable.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read this for school Sept. 11 2013
By Brandi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this for an African American Literature class and somewhat enjoyed it. This was my second time reading it but I enjoyed it more this time than the last.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but Worthwhile African Story May 12 2007
By M. Birtwhistle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The story covers an array of cultural influences that play into daily life of the Niger Delta region of Africa. The complexities of an infantile African society trying to find its identity in the post-colonial disaster, left behind when the mother-country abandoned it, are highlighted but often are left undeveloped. The story and characters often appear underdeveloped and left me wishing the author had more deeply explored the social structure surrounding the main story line. The main religious subject of the story has more to do with the Muslim influences of the region, rather than traditionally African religious and social customs; but the juxtaposition of Muslim and colonial culture to natural African culture is the main overt subject of the story.

Overall, if you are interested in post-colonial Niger Delta region African society you will be treated to a unique perspective and some insight into the cultural influences of the region. The story is worth reading just for the fact that it is part of a young, but maturing literary history in Africa.

I gave four stars due to the overall subject of African cultural affairs. But would give the writing, story and character development a three and a half.
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