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Doguicimi [a novel]

Paul Hazoume, translated by Richard Bjornson
ISBN: 978-0-89410-405-3
ISBN: 978-0-89410-406-0
1990/397 pages


Although he was a staunch supporter of French colonialism, Paul Hazoumé in his realistic, sweeping narrative captures the customs and traditions—the soul—of Dahomey. This historical novel, set in the first half of the nineteenth century, depicts a proud and powerful nation at a turning point in its long pattern of wars, slave trade, and human sacrifices—practices that, in the West, earned Dahomey (now part of Benin) a reputation for brutality.

Considered the first Dahomean novel, this long-neglected masterpiece was originally published in French in 1937.


The late Richard Bjornson taught French and comparative literature at Ohio State University.