Senegalese literature

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The Literature of Senegal is among the most important in West Africa. Most works are written in French, but there are also works in Arabic and Wolof.

Senegalese literature has long been known worldwide through the writing of poet and statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor, a great defender of the French language and of Negritude.

Other now-classic authors include novelists Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Birago Diop, Boubacar Boris Diop, and Ousmane Sembène. The latter is known for bringing some of his own novels to the screen. Major essayists include Cheikh Anta Diop and anthropologist Tidiane N'Diaye.

Women writers have been particularly active. In 1980, Mariama Bâ described polygamous society with great sensitivity in Une si longue lettre. Aminata Sow Fall, in La Grève des Bàttu (1986), showed that the lower classes were not without resources. More recently, Fatou Diome has found success with Le Ventre de l'Atlantique (2004), a novel depicting, often with humor, the dreams of escape of Senegalese youth.

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