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Calixthe Beyala

Calixthe Beyala

Cameroonian writer
Calixthe Beyala
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Cameroonian writer
Is Writer
From Cameroon France
Type Literature
Gender female
Birth 1 January 1961, Douala, Wouri, Littoral, Cameroon
Age 60 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Calixthe Beyala (born 1961) is a Cameroonian-French writer who writes in French.


A member of the Eton people, she was born in Sa'a to a Cameroonian mother and father. She was raised by her maternal grandmother. Her aunt and grandmother were particularly strong influences on her, and she grew up listening to her grandmother's stories.

Despite the poverty of her upbringing, Beyala was able to get a primary school place at the École Principale du Camp Mboppi in Douala and went on to study at the Lycée des Rapides à Bangui and the Lycée Polyvalent de Douala. She won a scholarship that took her to Paris in 1978, at the age of seventeen, where she obtained a baccalaureate. She subsequently moved to Spain, where she settled with her husband for six years and studied management. Beyala moved back to France to obtain a B.A. in letters and pursued a variety of careers, including modelling and floristry. She published her first book, C'est le soleil qui m'a brûlée, at the age of 23 and eventually chose to become a full-time writer. After divorcing, she now lives in Paris with her two children.

Beyala's novels are written from a strongly feminist viewpoint, often focusing on the difficulties faced by African women and children in male-dominated societies. The experiences of her own impoverished childhood are reflected in the themes of poverty, social degradation and injustice that she explores in many of her books. She has won significant recognition for her work, including awards from UNICEF and the Académie française, and praise for the thematic and stylistic originality of her novels. However, some have criticised her work, accusing her of plagiarism and attacking her positive treatment of homosexuality, which has been viewed as scandalous in some quarters.


  • 1996 – Grand Prix du Roman de l'Académie Française
  • 1994 – Prix François Mauriac de l’Académie française
  • 1994 – Prix tropique
  • 1993 – Grand prix littéraire de l’Afrique noire


  • C'est le soleil qui m'a brûlée 1987 Oxford: Heinemann; Librio, 1997, ISBN 978-2-277-30165-3
  • Tu t'appelleras Tanga, Stock, 1988, ISBN 978-2-234-02142-6
  • Seul le Diable le savait, Pré aux Clercs, 1990, ISBN 978-2-7144-2476-1
  • La négresse rousse (1991); Éd. J'ai lu, 1997, ISBN 978-2-290-04601-2
  • Le petit prince de Bellevile, A. Michel, 1992, ISBN 978-2-226-05934-5
  • Maman a un amant, Editions J'ai lu, 1993, ISBN 9782290313770—Grand Prize of Literature of Black Africa
  • Asséze l'Africaine, A. Michel, 1994, ISBN 9782226069986 -- François Mauriac Prize of the Académie française
  • Lettre d'une africaine à ses sœurs occidentales, Spengler, 1995
  • Les Honneurs perdus, A. Michel, 1996, ISBN 978-2-226-08693-8 -- Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française
  • La petite fille du réverbère, Albin Michel, 1998, ISBN 9782226095916—Grand Prize of Unicef
  • Amours sauvages Albin Michel, 1999, ISBN 978-2-226-10818-0; J'ai lu, 2000, ISBN 978-2-290-30902-5
  • Lettre d'une Afro-française à ses compatriotes, Mango, 2000, ISBN 978-2-84270-232-8
  • Comment cuisiner son mari à l'africaine, Albin Michel, 2000, ISBN 978-2-226-11676-5
  • Les arbres en parlent encore…, Librairie générale française, 2004, ISBN 978-2-253-06776-4
  • Femme nue, femme noire, Albin Michel, 2003, ISBN 978-2-226-13790-6
  • La plantation, Albin Michel, 2005, ISBN 978-2-226-15835-2
  • L'homme qui m'offrait le ciel: roman, Albin Michel, 2007, ISBN 978-2-226-17715-5
  • Le Roman de Pauline:roman, Paris, Albin Michel, 2009
  • Les Lions indomptables, Paris, Albin Michel, 2010
  • Le Christ selon l'Afrique,roman, Paris, Albin Michel, 2014

English translations

  • Loukoum: the 'little prince' of Belleville, Translator Marjolijn De Jager, Heinemann, 1995, ISBN 978-0-435-90968-0
  • The sun hath looked upon me, Translator Marjolijn De Jager, Heinemann, 1996, ISBN 978-0-435-90951-2
  • Your name shall be Tanga, Translator Marjolijn De Jager, Heinemann, 1996, ISBN 978-0-435-90950-5
  • How to Cook Your Husband the African Way, Translator David Cohen, Psychology News Press, 2016, ISBN 978-0-907-63336-5
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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