Prasun category. Home Houseboy By Ferdinand Oyono. Total Price:. Add to Cart Print. Description Reviews 0 Toundi Ondoua, the rural African protagonist of Houseboy, encounters a world of prisms that cast beautiful but unobtainable glimmers, especially for a black youth in colonial Cameroon.

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Manufacturer warranty may not apply. Learn more about Amazon International Store. If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Toundi Ondoua, the rural African protagonist of Houseboy, encounters a world of prisms that cast beautiful but unobtainable glimmers, especially for a black youth in colonial Cameroon.

Houseboy, written in the form of Toundi's captivating diary and translated from the original French, discloses his awe of the white world and a web of unpredictable experiences. Early on, he escapes his father's angry blows by seeking asylum with his benefactor, the local European priest who meets an untimely death. Toundi then becomes "the Chief European's 'boy'--the dog of the King. Gradually, preconceptions of the Europeans come crashing down on him as he struggles with his identity, his place in society, and the changing culture.

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Review this product Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Often the protagonists of such colonial novels are caught between two worlds e. This book is different. The protagonist rejects his traditional life in the first two pages. What happens then is the interest. The question is can an African ever be accepted as an equal by the colonizer?

While you probably know the answer, Toundi's journey - as told by his journal - is an enthralling read. I read this book in about two and a half hours and missed a Red Sox playoff game on TV when I couldn't put it down. My only reservation is that I could not read it in the original French.

I do not put it as a must read; but, if you enjoyed either "The River Between" or "Things Fall Apart," I would highly suggest you read it. Very happy with book would buy again. A very interesting story that explores many themes that Western novels do not. Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.

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Houseboy (by Ferdinand Oyono)

The diary of a Cameroonian young man details his experience as a domestic servant in French colonial Cameroon. He pursued a theatrical career in Paris as well, acting in his spare time. He would be posted as ambassador to France, Liberia, and the United States. Meanwhile, this final decade of colonial rule saw a new body of literature emerge in French West Africa. Riddled with satire, Houseboy exposes the hypocrisies and injustices of the French colonial system from the perspective of a disenchanted Cameroonian. During the nineteenth century, Britain and France had competed for control over most of West Africa.


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The novel starts in Spanish Guinea with a Frenchman on vacation, who finds a man named Toundi, who has been injured and soon dies. The Frenchman finds his diary, which is called an "exercise book" by Toundi. The rest of the story consists of the diary exercise book that the Frenchman is supposedly reading. There is no further discussion of the Frenchman after this point. The first "exercise book" starts with Toundi living with his family. His father beats him constantly, and one day Toundi runs away from home to the rescue of Father Gilbert, a priest who lives nearby.


Conflict and the black servant in Oyono's "Houseboy" and Gordimer's "July's People"

Specifically, it looks at how the black servant is forced to balance the loyalty he has for the white employer and for his African roots. The analysis of Houseboy will focus on how conflict is represented between whites and blacks, how it can satirically have a positive influence on others and lastly, how conflict among the blacks can be very destructive. Houseboy shows how conflict can be prompted by stereotypes; how it can be a shield from other pressing concerns and even how conflict itself can provide an outlet for humour. An argument can be made therefore if conflict experienced by black servants during the colonial period was more in the open as opposed to that of apartheid South Africa.

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