Segu by Maryse Condé (1984, translated by Barbara Bray 2017)
It is 1797 and the African kingdom of Segu, born of blood and violence, is at the height of its power. Yet Dousika Traore, the king’s most trusted advisor, feels nothing but dread. Change is coming. From the East, a new religion, Islam. From the West, the slave trade. These forces will tear his country, his village and the lives of his beloved sons apart, in Maryse Condé’s glittering epic.
Winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize for Literature 2018, Segu is a tale of family, treachery, rivalry, religious fervour and the turbulent fate of a royal African dynasty.
Maya Angelou praised the novel as ‘rich and colorful and glorious. It sprawls over continents and centuries to find its way into the reader’s heart.’