An author from Senegal
writing in French
[Return to French Page originale en français]
Tita Mandeleau's real name is Danièle Saint-Prix and her married name is Brigaud. The author chose the pseudonym Tita, which is the dimunitive of Tatiana, in homage to her mother, whose Christian name it was. The name Mandeleau comes from the surname given to her mother by her grandfather, "Maman dlo", that is, "mother of the water" or the mermaid, because of her long hair. Tita Mandelau was a management secretary for more than twenty years. Born in Fort-de-France in 1937, she lived with her mother in Martinique until the age of ten. When her father was discharged at the end of the war, the family settled in Africa. Her father was an Overseas Magistrate and there were four girls and four boys in the family. They travelled to many countries and this is reflected in Tita Mandeleau's schooling: she went to primary school in the West Indies between the ages of 5 and 11 and she attended secondary schools in Senegal, France and Mali (known as French Sudan at that time) from 12 to 18 years of age. After living in numerous towns (Saint-Louis - where her husband comes from, as well as Dakar, Bamako and Paris), Tita Mandeleau has spent the last two years in New York with her husband (1991). Very fond of both Africa and the West Indies, she told Djib Diedhiou in an interview: "I have always felt equally at home both sides of the Atlantic." She has four children who were born in 1958/59/60 and 1965. Her hobbies are reading, writing and she is particularly fond of crosswords.
Signare Anna . Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Sénégal, 1991. (232p.). ISBN 2 7236 0437 3. Novel.
The plot of this prize winning historical novel takes place around 1760 when the French had been settled in Saint-Louis for several years and the "Children of Ndar", a people of a mixed racial heritage, were becoming an increasingly powerful elite. It was at this time that the English forces landed and took over the country. Initially, the settlers forcefully resisted the invading English forces, but they had to put up with, and eventually came to accept, their presence. These events are recorded in the novel through a detailed analysis of the reactions of the "Keur Gerbiny" family - Signare Anna, Pierre Gerbigny, their children, as well as all the various characters who were involved with the family at this time, including the English soldier who lodged with them, and who had succumbed to the charms of Eliza, the family's daughter...
The University of Western Australia/French
Created: 25 December 1995
Modified: 18 January 1999
Archived: 19 December 2012