Prix Goncourt 2009: Trois femmes puissantes
- Author: M. NDiaye
- Title: Trois femmes puissantes
- Published: 2009
- Trivia: Awarded Prix Goncourt 2009
- Language: French (available in English translation)
- List Reading Challenges 2018
- Monthly reading planning
- List of French Books.
NDiaye: She is the daughter of a French mother
and a Senegalese father she barely knows,
and married to a white Frenchman.
She firmly anchors autobiography in her stories.
Motif: NDiaye’s metamorphoses of people into animals (hypothetical)
in Three Strong Women (birds) as a form of escape or bad omens.
Story nr 1: Father: ‘perches’ in hammock and
sleeps in the flamboyant tree in his courtyard.
Story nr 2: bird crashed on windshield of a car twice!…bad omen
Story nr 3: young girl Khady
she tries to escape her circumstances…hoping she can soar away
like the bird “…un oiseau disparaissait au loin.”
…disappearing in the distance.
Story nr 1 – ‘Le mot juste’ was so balanced
every word packed a punch. There were few rambling thoughts
just the facts larded with emotion.
Plot: I loved this story that had a whiff of magic realism!
Story nr 2 – Run-on sentences, also known as fused sentences, occur
when two or more complete sentences are
squashed together without using proper punctuation.
NDiaye disappointed me with the use of run-on’s ad nauseam.
Plot: I did not like this story at all, “pointe barre!”. The story drags and ends up losing its focus entirely. Bah. #Confusing. If you feel as I did when reading story nr 2 just…”passez votre chemin”
…just move along to story nr 3!
Story nr 3 – This story is as smooth as silk…lucide, linéaire et lisable:
clear-sighted, with beginning-middle- end and most importantly…readable!
- I’m glad I got my emotional review on NDiaye’s book on paper
- …last night because I must adjust it.
- My ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to story 2 was due to my lack of
- French vocabulary.
- I was exasperated, exhausted and
- I felt I’ll never learn French.
- That is not the best place to be when writing a review.
- The run on sentences confused my overworked brain.
- I just could not process the story.
- I returned to the part of story 2
- …that was my initial ‘breaking bad point’ this morning.
- I attempted to push through the story to the very end.
- I needed some strong coffee to help me.
- After reading all three stories I see:
- Three strong women – Noah – Fanta – Khady
- Three weak men – Noah’s father – Rudy – Lamine
- Three places:
- Noah in Senegal returning with difficulty
- Fanta in France thinking of Senegal…wishing she never left
- Khady in Senegal trying to get out
- Note: Senegal is never mentioned but there are markers
- in the story that point in that direction:
- Reubeuss prison, village Dara Salam,
- …arrondissement de Grand Youff, newspaper Le Soleil.
- Theme: The family is the basis in the 3 stories.
- The families are in decline and all lack a strong father figure.
- This is a clear link to NDiaye’s situation
- …when her father abandoned her
- …mother and sister to return to Senegal.
- Women: Each one of the heroines is torn between
- Senegal and France.
- Reading the stories you see them trying
- …to find there way between two continents.
- Marie NDiaye reveals her skills in three
- …completely different stories and styles.
- Unfortunately I did not like the second story.
- I hope to hear from others if
- …they also found it ‘rough reading’
- …be it in English or French.
- Strong point:
- I was most impressed by NDiaye’s vocabulary.
- She introduced me to so many new words
- Reading this book in French is not for the faint-hearted.
- It seems I’ve struggled with few of these books in 2018.
- My only compensation is
- ….I keep learning, and learning more French!