Jeanne Garane

Scholar (French and Francophone Literature and Film) & Translator, US

Jeanne Garane is Professor of French and Francophone literature and film at the University of South Carolina. She has published a number of articles in her field, as well as an edited volume, Discursive Geographies: Writing Space in French/Géographies Discursives: L’écriture de l’espace en français (Rodopi, 2006). She translated Abdourahman A. Waberi’s Pays sans ombre (The Shadowless Land, University of Virginia Press, 2005) and recently completed the translation of Daniel Picouly's L'Enfant léopard (The Leopard Boy, University of Virginia Press, 2016). She is currently the editor of The French Literature Series (Brill/Rodopi).

Learn more:

Amkoullel: The Childhood of a Fulani Boy, a translation of Amkoullel, l’enfant peul, volume I of the Memoirs of Amadou Hampâté Bâ (Actes Sud, 1991, 1992, 2012; Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire, 1991)

Amkoullel tells a vivid story of his early life from 1901 and 1922. Like Bâ’s prize winning novel, L’Étrange destin de Wangrin ou les roueries d’un interprète africain (1973), the story begins with Bâ’s “pre-history” and his connections to the Fulbe Empire of Macina and its Toucouleur conquerors who destroyed it in 1862 (his father being Fulbe and his mother was Toucouleur). Bâ tells the history of these two related but warring peoples before recounting the story of a childhood and adolescence marked by the aftermath of war between the Fulbe and Toucouleur and the arrival of French colonialism.

Amadou Hampâté Bâ is known for have stated "Every old man that dies is a library that burns." He is also known as the authir of L’Étrange destin de Wangrin (The Fortunes of Wangrin, 1973), which tells the adventures of an interpreter in French Sudan. This text, translated in English by Aina Pavolini Taylor, has been widely acclaimed. But Hampâté Bâ's Mémoires have never received the attention they deserved from reviewers and historians, and have never been translated in English. Jeanne Garane's project was to finish off and publish her translation of Amkoullel.

Jeanne Garane was in residence at the Camargo Foundation in 2019, as part of the Core Program.