Segu

Overview

The year is 1797, and the kingdom of Segu is flourishing, fed by the wealth of its noblemen and the power of its warriors. The people of Segu, the Bambara, are guided by their griots and priests; their lives are ruled by the elements. But even their soothsayers can only hint at the changes to come, for the battle of the soul of Africa has begun. From the east comes a new religion, Islam, and from the West, the slave trade.

Segu follows the life of Dousika Traore, the king’s most...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$14.75
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$17.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (34) from $2.54   
  • New (10) from $9.49   
  • Used (24) from $2.54   
Sending request ...

Overview

The year is 1797, and the kingdom of Segu is flourishing, fed by the wealth of its noblemen and the power of its warriors. The people of Segu, the Bambara, are guided by their griots and priests; their lives are ruled by the elements. But even their soothsayers can only hint at the changes to come, for the battle of the soul of Africa has begun. From the east comes a new religion, Islam, and from the West, the slave trade.

Segu follows the life of Dousika Traore, the king’s most trusted advisor, and his four sons, whose fates embody the forces tearing at the fabric of the nation. There is Tiekoro, who renounces his people’s religion and embraces Islam; Siga, who defends tradition, but becomes a merchant; Naba, who is kidnapped by slave traders; and Malobali, who becomes a mercenary and halfhearted Christian.

Based on actual events, Segu transports the reader to a fascinating time in history, capturing the earthy spirituality, religious fervor, and violent nature of a people and a growing nation trying to cope with jihads, national rivalries, racism, amid the vagaries of commerce.

From the East came Islam. From the West, the slave trade. In the lush, exotic kingdom of Segu, the battle for Africa's soul had begun. A sweeping novel sure to haunt the hearts and minds of all who read it. "Exotic, richly textured and detailed."--Los Angeles Times.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The most significant novel about black Africa published in many a year."
— The New York Times book Review

"Condé is a born storyteller."
Publishers Weekly

“Exotic, richly textured and detailed, this narrative, alternating between the lives of various characters, illuminates magnificently a little known historical period. Virtually every page glitters with nuggets of cultural fascination.”
—Howard Kaplan, Los Angeles Times

“A wondrous novel about a period of African history few other writers have addressed. … Much of the novel’s radiance comes from the lush description of a traditional life that is both exotic and violent.”
—Charles L. Larson, The New York Times Book Review

“With the dazzling storytelling skills of an African griot, Maryse Condé has written a rich, fast-paced saga of a great kingdom during the tumultuous period of the slave trade and the coming of Islam. Segu is history as vivid and immediate as today. It has restored a part of my past that has long been missing.”
—Paule Marshall, author of Daughters

“Segu is an overwhelming accomplishment. It injects into the density of history characters who are as alive as you and I. Passionate, lusty, greedy, they are in conflict with themselves as well as with God and Mammon. Maryse Condé has done us all a tremendous service by rendering a history so compelling and exciting. Segu is a literary masterpiece I could not put down.”
—Louise Meriwether

“A stunning reaffirmation of Africa and its peoples as set down by others whose works have gone unnoticed. Ms. Condé not only backs them up, but provides new insights as well. … Segu has its own dynamic. It’s a starburst.”—John A. Williams

“A novel of wide scope, depth and power. Condé proves herself a careful observer of human behavior as she helps the reader to under stand and feel the turmoil of a confused continent. She captures a fascinating time in history with its earth spirituality, religious fervor and the violent nature of a people and their growing nation. . .Brims over with intelligence and wit.”
Anniston Star (Alabama)

Segu, a tale of love and intrigue, is fascinating, for the reader experiences the fervor of those tumultuous times.”
Chattanooga News-Free Press

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This family saga is set in the warlike kingdom of Segu (roughly present-day Mali) in the late 19th century. Conde is a born storyteller, commented PW, but the novel's ``cumulative effect is marred . . . by such a bewildering array of characters and such a density of cultural detail that the storyline becomes both sluggish and hard to follow.'' (May)
Library Journal
late 18th-century Africa, and change, in the form of slave traders from the west and Islam from the east, is coming to the tribal societies. In Segu, a kingdom near present-day Mali, the family of nobleman Dousika Traore is torn apart by the actions of his four sons: One fights for the old pagan ways, one becomes a Moslem, one is taken to Brazil on a slaver, and one is a mercenary. The customs and beliefs of Segu's Bambara tribe are skillfully woven into the story, and the descriptions of slavery and the slave trade are both compelling and horrifying. As in many sagas with as broad a canvas, the characters are somewhat flat, but fascination with the background will carry the reader. For large fiction collections. Janet Boyarin Blundell, M.L.S. , Brookdale Coll., Lincroft, N.J.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140259490
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 581,249
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of Guadeloupe, Maryse Condé lived for many years in Paris, where she taught West Indian literature at the Sorbonne. The author of several novels that have been well received in France (both Segu and its sequel were best-sellers), she has lectured widely in the United States and now divides her time between Guadeloupe and New York city, where she teaches at Columbia University.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    Greatest Work of Fiction

    Maryse Conde has always excelled by using real life experiences and making them seem as if it's 100% fiction. There is no denying that while living in different nations on the continent Africa she was busy doing research on her own ancestry. Conde comes from an era when people of African descent search desperately to find their ancestors. What Maryse does with this novel is weave fiction and nonfictional elements into Segu. As a student interested in French Literature and African American Studies, with a father thats from Guadeloupe I am deeply in love with Conde's rich cannon of literary work and urge everyone to read this novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2002

    THIS BOOK IS SPELL BINDING!!!

    This has to be one of the best books I have ever read. The style that the book is written in does wonders in holding the reader glued to the pages. I particularly enjoyed Conde's way of putting fictional caracters and actual history together. In short, I recommend this book to all those who are looking for a window into another world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2001

    Having Trouble Sleeping? Read This Book!

    Segu has a fantastic story line and is full of great points, views, and ideas about everything from family to the Trans Atlantic slave trade. However Maryse Conde writes the story in such a drab and unimaginative light, you are dozing off just before you get to the good parts. There were times when I began reading and lost total interest in the story altogether and starting thinking of other things to be reading. The wording of the story itself makes you want to sleep sometimes. Thinking of the same thing over again, at some points it seems almost repetative as you see the terms 'shea butter' and 'gris-gris' almost a million times as well as 'prostrate' and 'penetrate'. A thesaurus could have been very helpful to Conde while writing this piece. I would have honestly given the story one star had it not displayed such a great betrayal of family and struggles with life. I would recommend this story to those who are actually willing to fully submit to a book of this nature solely for the purpose of education (note: keep a pen and pad ready when you read this, your seriously going to need it)but, if you are looking for a leisure time novel that is fun, exciting, and interesting don't even waste your money. Instead check out the Encyclopedia, it is more exciting and insightful then this!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)