Professor of English Rosemary Haskell's review of Les Veilleurs de Sangomar (The watchmen of Sangomar), the latest novel by Senegalese novelist Fatou Diome, appeared in the Fall 2020 number of World Literature Today.
Professor of English Rosemary Haskell reviewed francophone Senegalese novelist Fatou Diome’s 2019 novel, “Les Veilleurs de Sangomar” (The watchmen of Sangomar) in the Fall 2020 number of World Literature Today.
Diome, a migrant from the west African country to France, departs from her usual migrant themes to explore in fiction the personal and national grief suffered when the Joola ferry sank off the coast of Senegal in 2002, with the loss of thousands of lives.
The novel’s heroine, Coumba, widowed by the shipwreck, addresses her grief through her nightly imaginary excursions to the spirit world of the nearby island of Sangomar. Something of an artist figure, she captures these encounters through her writing. As she does so, she gradually moves towards the new stage in her life that awaits her once the period of mourning required by her Islamic faith is over.
Read the full review here.