Camara Laye

Camara Laye (1928-1980) was an African writer from Guinea. He is best known for his 1953 novel 'The African Child' (L'Enfant noir), an autobiographical work that describes his upbringing in the Malinke culture and his journey to France for further education. Laye's work is celebrated for its rich portrayal of African life and its exploration of the themes of cultural identity and the impact of colonialism. He is considered one of the most important Francophone African writers of the 20th century.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The African Child

    "The African Child" is a semi-autobiographical novel that follows the journey of a young boy from his childhood in Guinea to his adolescence. The narrative captures the boy's experiences growing up in a traditional African society, his rites of passage, his relationship with his family, particularly his blacksmith father, and his eventual departure for studies in France. The book provides a vivid portrayal of the rich cultural traditions, beliefs, and values of the Malinke people, while also exploring themes of identity, change, and the tension between tradition and modernity.

  2. 2. L'enfant Noir

    "L'enfant Noir" is a memoir that follows the life of a young boy growing up in colonial Guinea. The book vividly portrays his journey from a traditional African village to the bustling city of Conakry, where he faces the challenges of cultural assimilation and the loss of his native language and customs. Through his experiences, the author explores themes of identity, education, and the clash between tradition and modernity, offering a poignant reflection on the complexities of growing up in a changing world.