cover of book
 

African Meditations
by Felwine Sarr
translated by Drew S. Burk
foreword by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
University of Minnesota Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-5179-1389-2 | eISBN: 978-1-4529-6821-6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
ABOUT THIS BOOK

An influential thinker’s fascinating reflections and meditations on reacclimating to his native Senegal as a young academic after years of study abroad
 

The call to morning prayer. A group run at daybreak along the Corniche in Dakar. A young woman shedding tears on a beach as her friends take a boat to Europe. In African Meditations, paths to enlightenment collide with tales of loss and ruminations, musical gatherings, and the everyday sights and sounds of life in West Africa as a young philosopher and creative writer seeks to establish himself as a teacher upon his return to Senegal, his homeland, after years of study abroad. 

A unique contemporary portrait of an influential, multicultural thinker on a spiritual quest across continents—reflecting on his multiple literary influences along with French, African Francophone, and Senegalese tribal cultural roots in a homeland with a predominantly Muslim culture—African Meditations is a seamless blend of autobiography, journal entries, and fiction; aphorisms and brief narrative sketches; humor and Zen reflections. 

Taking us from Saint-Louis to Dakar, Felwine Sarr encounters the rhythms of everyday life as well as its disruptions such as teachers’ strikes and power outages while traversing a semi-surrealistic landscape. As he reacclimates to his native country after a life in France, we get candid glimpses, both vibrant and hopeful, sublime and mundane, into his Zen journey to resecure a foothold in his roots and to navigate academia, even while gleaning something of the good life, of joy, amid the struggles of life in Senegal. 


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