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Yambo Ouologuem

Bound to Violence

Bound to Violence


Envisioned as a criticism of and insider's guide to African history, this dark, pugancious epic, spanning the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, recounts the fate of the imaginary empire of Nakem. With its acerbic pen portraits of the dynasty of devious, asp-wielding Saïfs who reign in Nakem; visiting white exploiters and saviours; and persecuted citizens - especially the tragicomic, Paris-educated hero Raymond-Spartacus Kassoumi - Bound to Violence is a biting satire of unusual and alarming power.

In this new edition, professor and award-winning documentary filmmaker Chérif Keïta provides invaluable context for the novel, whose publication in the West was mired by accusations of plagiarism fraught with racist undertones. What emerges is a thrillingly excessive, defiant novel that paints a universally relevant portrait of sex, violence and power in human relationships.