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The City Where No One Dies [a novel]

Bernard Dadie, translated by Janis A. Mayes
The City Where No One Dies [a novel]
ISBN: 978-0-89410-498-5
1986/139 pages


In this witty and ironic reversal of the typical colonial travelogue, Dadié recounts the journey of a bemused African traveler who settles in Rome, continuing his inquiries into the fundamental nature of humankind. Part conqueror, part pilgrim, part worshipper, and part critic, the protagonist compares Roman and African customs, traditions, history, and above all, personalities.

Dadié’s account of the rewards and pitfalls of exploring other cultures is spiced with a generous enthusiasm and respect for life and all its eccentricities. First published in French in 1968.


The late Bernard Dadié, born near Abidjan in 1916, was a prolific Ivorian novelist, playwright, and poet. He was Côte d’Ivoire’s minister of culture in 1977–1986. In his writing, influenced by his experiences of colonialism as a child, Dadié attempted to connect the messages of traditional African folktales with the contemporary world. Janis A. Mayes is associate professor of comparative African literatures in the Department of African, Caribbean, and African-American Literatures at Syracuse University.
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