God's Bits of Wood
"God's Bits of Wood is a fictionalized account of the Dakar-Niger train strikes which took in the 1940s. The novel looks at both the political and personal sacrifices the strikers and their families made. The political power is portrayed here as the strikers try to win back pensions, annual paid vacations, and family allowances from the Europeans. The novel can be seen as a shift of power between the African strikers and their European bosses. The Europeans have the political process and violence as a leverage of power, which they use both insistently and mindlessly. One of the European delegates for the railway company accidentally shoots young boys who are playing along the tracks. The delegate isn't charged with their murders. The Europeans also prevent the strikers and their families from having access to water. Yet the strikers also have the masses as their power. The strikers gain powerful allies in their own women. In the beginning of the novel, the women are not told the details of the strike, though they are asked to support their men. Only the small child, Ad'jibid'ji, shows any interest and insists that her grandfather take her to a meeting of the strikers. Yet as the novel continues, the women become more and more involved in the strike. This is because the strike has hit home to them in a literal way. There is no water nor food to eat. The women and children begin to starve. The women suffer in silence until they begin to fight back. Two of the more striking sequences in the novel are the siege between the women of N'Diayene and the policemen who have come to arrest Ramatoulaye, and leads to the burning down of the village, and the march the women go on to Dakar to protest their treatment and to support the strikers. The strike breaks down the barriers which cause inequality between men and women, black and white." -- from www.associatedcontent.com (Oct. 22, 2010).
What people are saying - Write a review
THIES Sounkare the Watchman
The March of the Women
BAMAKO The Camp
Other editions - View all
Ad'jibid'ji Alioune already arms Arona asked Assitan Bachirou Bakary Bakayoko Bamako Bambara Beaugosse began Bineta blind woman body Boubacar cabin chief of police child cloth courtyard cried crowd Dahomey Dakar Dejean Deune Diara Dieynaba door Doudou Edouard everything eyes Fa Keita face father feet French girl gone Gorgui Grandmother Hadrame hand happened head heard Houdia M'Baye Isnard Kaolack Keita knew Konate Koulikoro Lahbib laughing Leblanc legs listen looked Mabigue Magatte Maimouna Mame Sofi Mariame Monsieur morning mother N'Deye Touti N'Diayene never night old Niakoro Ouolof Penda Ramatoulaye rice Rufisque Sadio Samba N'Doulougou savanna seated seemed shoulders shouted silence sleep soldiers Sounkare speak spoke stood stopped street strike suddenly talking tell thing thought Tiemoko told tomorrow took toubabs Toucouleur turned union office Vendredi voice waiting walked wall women words workers