Cover for DADIÉ: An African in Paris. Click for larger image

An African in Paris

Writing in an informal, episodic style, Bernard Dadie recounts a young African man's first journey to France, from the exhilarating moment when he obtains his ticket through a humorous and fascinating tour across the City of Light.

In 1959, when Un Negre a Paris first appeared, the French still held West Africa under colonial rule. Dadie's subtle parodies depend on a detailed knowledge obtained over decades spent observing the colonizers abroad and now, suddenly, on their own home terrain. His remarks on Parisian living conditions, wordplay, and manners and morals are entertaining and poignant, charming yet profound.


"These travel reports present a vision of France through the eyes of a naïve traveler, whose irony, humor, and quality of observation remind me very much of Montesquieu's Lettres Persanes."--Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, Duke University


Bernard Binlin Dadie (b. 1916), a cofounder of Presence Africaine, is part of the generation of African writers who began to publish under its auspices during the 1950s. Un Nigre a Paris is among his fifteen books of poetry, drama, tales, and travel writings. Karen C. Hatch, a professor of English at California State University, Chico, has also translated Dadie's novel, Climbie, and a collection of his folktales, La Pagne Noir.

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