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Williams Sassine

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Williams Sassine (1944 in Kankan, Guinea – February 9, 1997 in Conakry, Guinea) was a Guinean novelist who wrote in French. [1][2][3]


His father was Lebanese Christian and his mother was a Guinean of Muslim heritage.[4]

Sassine was an expatriate African writer in France after leaving Guinea when it received independence under Sékou Touré. As a novelist he wrote of marginalized characters, but he became more optimistic on Touré's death. His 1979 novel Le jeune homme de sable has been regarded as among the best 20th-century African novels.[5] Few of his works have been translated into English, but Wirriyamu was published in an English translation in 1980. [6]

As an editor he remained critical of Touré as chief editor for the satirical paper Le Lynx. Some of Sassine's works have been translated into English, Spanish and Russian.

Selected works[edit]

  • Saint Monsieur Baly (1971)
  • Wirriyamu (1976) (in 1980, an English language translation by Clive Wake and John Reed was published)
  • Le jeune homme de sable (1979)
  • L'Alphabête (1982)
  • Le Zéhéros n'est pas n'importe qui (1985)
  • L'Afrique en Morceaux (1994)
  • Mémoire d'une peau (1998)

Critical studies of Sassine's fictional work[edit]

  • Asaah, Augustine, "L'inscription du corps dans quatre romans postcoloniaux d'Afrique". Présence Francophone 66 (2006), 57–80.
  • Baker, Charlotte, Enduring Negativity: Representations of Albinism in the novels of Didier Destremau, Patrick Grainville and Williams Sassine (Peter Lang, 2011).
  • Baker, Charlotte, Saint Monsieur Baly. Glasgow Introductory Guides to French Literature 56 (Glasgow French and German Publications, 2010).
  • Baker, Charlotte, "'My Sole Reality, My Only Refuge, My Unique Prison': The Body of the Black African Albino in Williams Sassine's Mémoire d'une peau" in Lili Hernandez and Sabine Krajewski (eds), Crossing Cultural Boundaries (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).
  • Chevrier, Jacques, Williams Sassine: écrivain de la marginalité (Toronto: Editions du Gref, 1995).
  • Chevrier, Jacques, "Malades et infirmes dans l'œuvre romanesque de Williams Sassine" in Jacqueline Bardolph (ed.), Littérature et maladie dans la littérature africaine (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1994), pp. 173–187.
  • Chevrier, Jacques, "La Marginalité, figure du postcolonialisme dans l'œuvre romanesque de Williams Sassine" in Jean Bessière and Jean-Marc Moura (eds), Littératures postcoloniales et francophonie (Paris: Champion, 1999), 131–139.
  • Chevrier, Jacques, "De la solitude à la solidarité dans l'œuvre romanesque de Williams Sassine", Notre Librairie, 128 (1996), 126–132.
  • Chevrier, Jacques, "Le Thème de l'exclusion et de la marginalité dans l'œuvre de Williams Sassine" in Régis Antoine (ed.), Carrefour de cultures (Tübingen, 1993), 431–438.
  • Chevrier, Jacques, "Williams Sassine: Des mathématiques à la littérature", Notre Librairie, 88–89 (1987), 110–118.
  • Chevrier, Jacques and Richard Bjornson (1992), "Williams Sassine", Research in African Literatures, 23.4, pp. 133–136.
  • Coussy, Denise, and Jacques Chevrier, "L'Errance chez Williams Sassine et V.S. Naipaul", Notre Librairie, 155–156 (2004), 68–75.
  • De Saivre, Denise "Humour et communication: L'exemple de Williams Sassine". Présence Africaine 147 (1988), 68–79.
  • Giguet, Frédéric, "La construction tragique de l'identité dans l'œuvre romanesque de Williams Sassine" in Dominique Laporte (ed.), L'autre en mémoire, Presses Université Laval, 2006. Unpaginated.
  • Lebon, Cécile, "Williams Sassine Mémoire d'une peau: Review". Notre Librairie 136 (1998).
  • Ngandu Nkashama, Pius, Ecrire à l'infinitif : la déraison de l'écriture dans les romans de Williams Sassine (Paris: Harmattan, 2006).
  • Ngandu Nkashama, Pius, "Il était une fois, Saint Monsieur Baly...". Présence Africaine 155 (1997).
  • Sow, Alioune, "Forbidden Bodies: Relocation and Empowerment in Williams Sassine's novels", Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society, 29 (2005), 207–220.
  • Wendeler, Catherine, "The embodiment of wrath in two postcolonial prophecies: La vie et demie by Sony Labou Tansi and Mémoire d'une peau by Williams Sassine", Imperium 2 (2001). Unpaginated.


  1. ^ Chevrier, Jacques; Bjornson, Richard (1992). "Williams Sassine". Research in African Literatures. 23 (4): 133–136. ISSN 0034-5210. JSTOR 3820349.
  2. ^ "Williams Sassine". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 2024-04-09.
  3. ^ "SASSINE Williams - Présence Africaine Editions". www.presenceafricaine.com. Retrieved 2024-04-09.
  4. ^ Smith, Jr (1996-06-22). "Williams Sassine ecrivain de la marginalite". World Literature Today. 70 (3): 748–750.
  5. ^ "NexlanceNow: Fully Funded International Scholarships". 2023-04-28. Retrieved 2024-04-09.
  6. ^ Small, Audrey (2014). "Reversals of Exile: Williams Sassine's Wirriyamu and Tierno Monénembo's Pelourinho". African Studies Review. 57 (3): 41–54. ISSN 1555-2462.

External links[edit]