An author from Cameroon
writing in French
[Return to French Page originale en français]
Calixthe Beyala was born in Cameroon in 1961. She spent her childhood in Douala with one of her sisters, four years older than herself. Calixthe Beyala left Cameroon aged seventeen and arrived in France where she studied, married, had two children and published numerous novels. In 1996 she was awarded the Grand Prix du Roman de l'Académie Française. She now (2013) lives in France.
C'est le soleil qui m'a brûlée. [The sun hath looked upon me]. Oxford: Heinemann; African writers series, 1996.
Ateba, who is nineteen years old, has lived for many years in a well-behaved, orderly and obedient manner with a tyrannical aunt. However, underneath this submission hides a temperament of fire and "she will have to be burnt in all the suns, all the fires of desire, customs and the most oppressive, outmoded traditions before she is finally able to discover herself..."(Back cover).
Tu t'appelleras Tanga. [Your name shall be Tanga]. Oxford: Heinemann; African writers series, 1996. Novel.
Two young women have been thrown together in the same cell. The first one, Tanga has experienced nothing but debauchery and poverty since the day that her father raped her, and she has been subjected to all sorts of abominations and vices meted out by a corrupt society. She is now about to die and the police want to force her to talk. The second woman is only a pawn in the police game, but she is definitely not mad as her tormentors claim...
Seul le diable le savait. [Only the Devil knew]. Paris: Le Pré aux Clercs, 1990. (281p.). Novel. ISBN: 2 7144 2476 7.
If the characters in Calixthe Beyala's first two novels may be considered rather unusual, those in her third novel are even more disturbing because their world is one where reality and the supernatural constantly overlap. Mégri's distinctive red hair is the metaphor for a destiny no less surprising...
Le Petit prince de Belleville. [Loukoum: the little prince of Belleville]. Oxford: Heinemann; African writers series, 1995 Novel.
"It is through the character of Loukoum, Calixthe Beyala's Little Prince of the title, that an irresistible account of life in Belleville unfolds, including the humour and candour of Little Nicolas and the vigour and audacity of Zazie. Through Loukoum's eyes, in a mixture of laughter and emotion, we see an entire, colourful community, caught between its need for integration and that of preserving its roots. " (Back cover)
Maman a un amant. [Mother has a lover]. Paris: Albin Michel,1993. (352p.). Novel. ISBN: 2 226 06398 6.
Mother has a lover continues the story of young Loukoum's family, begun in The Little Prince of Belleville. He is a little older, his mother is once again in charge of the family's affairs and an improved financial situation allows the family to leave Belleville and to go south for a short holiday...
'La Sonnette' [The Bell] in Troubles de femmes. [Women's Troubles]. Paris: Spengler,1994. (pp. 11-19). An erotic short story. ISBN: 2 909997 21 9.
Assèze l'Africaine. [Asseèze The African Woman].
Paris: Albin Michel,1994. (352p.). Novel. ISBN:2-226-06998-4.
"The story of a small Cameroonian Cinderella transplanted from the dust of her village to the mirages of Douala and finally to the crowded underworld of Paris. Assèze The African Woman is also about present-day Africa, torn between its splendours and its errors, its pride and its decline, its ruptured past and its chaotic future..." (back cover).
Lettre d'une Africaine à ses soeurs occidentales. [An African Woman's Letter to her Western Sisters]. Paris: Spengler ,1995. (160p.). Essay.
ISBN: 2 909997 36 7.
Written in a lively and witty style [this polemical essay...] does not hesitate to spell out its message to women..."(Back cover).
Les Honneurs perdus. [Lost Honours].
Paris: Albin Michel,1996. (412p.). Novel. ISBN:9-78226-086938
This novel received 1996 prestigious Prix du roman de l'Accadémie Française despite serious allegations of plagiarism.
See: "L'Affaire Beyala rebondit: L'Académie Française a pris le risque de cautionner un auteur dont l'oeuvre est truffée de plagiats" Lire 252 (Février 1997), pp. 8-11.
La petite fille du réverbère. [The Small Girl under the Street Lamp]. Paris: Albin Michel, 1998. (233p.) Novel ISBN 2-226-09591-8
Amours sauvages. [Wild love]. Paris: Albin Michel,1999. (251p.). Novel. ISBN: 2-226-10818-1
Life in Belleville
Comment cuisiner son mari à l'africaine. [How to grill your husband the African way]. Paris: Albin Michel, 2000. (170p.). Novel. ISBN: 2-226-11676-1
Lettre d'une Afro-française à ses compatriotes. [Letter from an African-French to her contrymen]. Paris: Mango, 2000. (96p.). Essay.
Pamphlet against racism in France.
Les arbres en parlent encore. [Still a matter of lively debate]. Paris: Albin Michel, 2002 (412p.). ISBN 2 226 13096 9. Novel.
Femme nue femme noire. [Naked woman Black woman]. Paris: Albin Michel, 2003. (230p.). ISBN: 2-226-13790-4. Novel.
La Plantation. Paris: Albin Michel. 2005. (464p.). ISBN: 2 226 15835 9. Novel.
L'homme qui m'offrait le ciel. Paris: Albin Michel, 2007. (222 p.). ISBN: 978-2-226-17715-5. Novel.
Le Roman de Pauline. Paris: Albin Michel, 2009. (224p.). ISBN: 978-2-226-18652-2. Novel.
Les Lions Indomptables. Cinquante ans de bonheur. Paris: Editions Albin Michel, 2010. (136p.). ISBN: 978-2-226-18190-2. Monograph on Cameroon legendary soccer team.
Le Christ selon l'Afrique. Paris: Albin Michel, 2014. (272p.). ISBN: 978-2-226-25601-0. Novel. Reviews
Jean-Marie Volet. Le roman de Pauline. July 2009.
The University of Western Australia/French
Created: 23 December 1995
Last updated: 1 July 2014
Archived: 1 July 2014