And it is a testament to her acting that I am so thoroughly conflicted about her character.
In Cruel City, she was a villain in most known ways, but I still loved her, because she was amazing and powerful and loyal. She was easily one of my favorite characters on the show.
Heartless City - Wikipedia
In Romance is a Bonus Book, she has both been intensely unfair and heartbreakingly relatable. But, she has also had to faced her almost husband, and drink with friends who think less of her for not having a family when she is highly respected and highly skilled in her field.
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On the contrary! There are many passages where we can clearly identify the voice of the narrator Beti. The city in the title, refers primarily to Tanga, a fictional name in an unnamed country, most likely what since Independence has become Cameroon.
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It is intended, without doubt, as a metaphor for an evolving modern African society that stands in contrast the rural traditional way of life. Tanga is divided by a river with the South representing the affluent, European side run by the French colonial rulers, assisted by local regional guards and where the Africans come to work.
There is a constant movement between the two sides: during the day the South is full of life and action and in the evenings the South empties and life moves to the northern townships and villages in the forest beyond. It seemed as if North Tanga needed to quench their thirst for something they might soon lose forever: joy, naked and real, happiness. Banda is also a symbol of the young Africans of the time, who dream of city life, but remain rooted in the village of their ancestors.
The current edition, published by Indiana University Press, makes both important texts available for the first time in English in the translation of and with an introduction by Pim Higginson.
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