Ken Bugul

Ken Bugul is a pen name that means 'nobody wants her' in Wolof, used by Senegalese author Mariètou Mbaye Biléoma. She was born in 1947 in Senegal. Her work is known for its autobiographical elements, addressing themes of African identity, post-colonialism, the condition of African women, and the impact of the West on African societies. Her most famous novel, 'Le Baobab Fou' (The Abandoned Baobab), is widely studied in Francophone African literature courses.


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 Abandoned Baobab

    The book is a poignant autobiographical novel that delves into the life of a young African woman who feels disconnected from her roots and culture after returning from studies in Europe. Struggling with a sense of alienation and identity crisis, she spirals into a life of excess and despair in the city, seeking solace in relationships and substances. Her narrative is a raw and honest exploration of postcolonial identity, womanhood, and the search for meaning in a world where she feels like an outsider both in her home country and abroad. The title symbolizes her sense of abandonment and the deep longing for a sense of belonging and understanding.

    The 4433rd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Riwan, Ou Le Chemin De Sable

    "Riwan, Ou Le Chemin De Sable" by "Ken Bugul" is a compelling novel that follows the life of Riwan, a young woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Set in Senegal, the book delves into themes of identity, cultural clashes, and the challenges faced by African women in a patriarchal society. Through Riwan's personal experiences and encounters with different people, the novel explores the complexities of love, desire, and the pursuit of happiness. It is a poignant and thought-provoking story that offers a unique perspective on African society and the resilience of its people.

    The 6262nd Greatest Book of All Time