. “If you don’t have a name, you’re invisible, and if you’re invisible, you can’t claim any rights. Besides, the offensive label man-woman implies disdain toward women. It reduces them to passive sexual objects that never act on their own desires. Think about it. From what I can see you’re no fool.”
although this short novel consists of 120 pages it contains Adultery,incest,polygamy.sexual orgy and many other sexual conducts
we fallow the story of the young orphaned teenage girl Okomo who in the beginning of the novel infuriates her grandfather just by asking him where and who is her father and just after this simple question this novel progresses as the the young girl becomes obsessed in discovering who is her father.
what happens after that question is that her grandfather calls the family four council but since he is very old the meeting topic changes from how to change our protagonist behavior to venerating her grandfathers which consisted of
he described the honorable life of Beká, the patriarch of our lineage. His existence had been so fruitful that he brought thirty men and forty women into the world, in addition to fighting against the mitangan occupation.
although the author of the novel comes from West Africa and i am from East Africa just like the novel i remembered when i was young and listened to my grandfather stories when he was young most of the time they all consisted of him killing people to protect his herd of Camels or dwindling pool of water,i guess some norms in Africa can be found in any corner of it.
she meets then her uncle who her tribe calls him MAN Women because he was queer and didn’t wanted to marry or impregnate women as his tribe wanted to do it, and this made the tribe hate and scorn him and eventually tries to kill him.
since this is a short novel which consist of 120 pages i don’t want to ruin your reading of it and so didn’t reveal what happens to our protagonist but the story has happy ending
although this was short novel it really was an eye opener on what it means to be queer and African at the same time and how in some societies which are very ignorant being homosexual can make your life horrible and how still many African societies and head of states usually autocratic see LGBTQ as threat and something that was parachuted from Europe to Africa not something organic.
the last note i wanna add to this small review is how many societies including my own uses Corrective Rape as something which they believe will heal women from being Lesbian which is another painful practices many societies use against women suspected of being lesbian.
But what really made me glad was how the protagonist and other characters eventually left their village to forest where they were free from small minded village people and how they respected their new home they become vegetarian and don’t kill forest animals
The forest was the only refuge for those who had no place in Fang tradition, like me. I’m a bastarda, a Fang woman; I’m a bastarda, daughter of an unmarried Fang woman; I’m a bastarda, a lesbian.
La Bastarda: A Novel
by Trifonia Melibea Obono translated Lawrence Schimel
Published April 17th 2018 by Feminist Press
120 pages and is $14.65