So Long A Letter – Mariama Ba

After reading So Long A Letter I realized I was so glad to read incredible women writers. It is such a sincere and so powerful book that you will be surprised when you see the similarities between you and Ramatoulaye wherever you are in the world.


So Long A Letter tells the story of Ramatoulaye, a teacher in Senegal. We listen to her husband marrying another woman and leaving home and staying alone with her twelve children in the letter written by Ramatoulaye. And of course, that husband dies, and she and the other woman are widowed too. Her writing is so beautiful that you will want to underline almost every sentence in the book.

So Long A Letter - Mariama Ba

In every sentence, you’ll hear that voice unique to women writers, so powerful and beautiful. But, I was angry, resentful and full of hate while reading some parts of it. I kept thinking about all the women who never saw the light of day from the pressure of society, the “so-called” family and men. However, as I read Ramatoulaye, who remained strong and managed to be herself despite everything, I couldn’t help but be hopeful.

Women have more patience and strength than men; I witnessed that once again. As a woman, even if you will get angry with the whole world while reading parts of this, you will still love the book, and learn a lot from this letter. I think that all women, young and old, should read this book. It is worth remembering how strong we are from time to time. Enjoy!

So Long A Letter

So Long A Letter

This novel is in the form of a letter, written by the widowed Ramatoulaye and describing her struggle for survival. It is the winner of the Noma Award.

Mariama Ba

Mariama Bâ was a Senegalese author and feminist, whose French-language novels were both translated into more than a dozen languages. Born in Dakar, she was raised a Muslim. Her frustration with the fate of African women is expressed in her first novel, Une si longue lettre.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

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