The Baobab’s Fruit
Original title: El fruit del baobab
Author: Maite Carranza
This is the story of a Gambian family living in the outskirts of Barcelona, in which all women are traditionally circumcised, told from the perspective of three women. One is Binta, the eldest daughter in this familiy who came to live in Mataró (Barcelona) as a child and now, being fourteen, has fully integrated into the European way of life, and aspires to go to university. She doesn´t accept her cultural origins and, in particular, rebels against her mother´s conservative vision of things. The second is her mother, an uneducated woman who lives a completely isolated life (she hardly speaks any Spanish or Catalan and actually cannot read), confined to home and to bringing up her four small children, relying on any outside communication about her husband. The third perspective is that of an almost forty-year old Catalan pediatrician, Lola, who after a failed relationship starts a new life and gets drawn into Binta’s family problems.
The conflict starts when Binta finds out that her father intends to travel back to Gambia and take her six year old sister with him, in order to perform the female circumcision. Binta deeply resents having been mutilated back in Africa: she is starting to date (Catalan) boys and feels an outsider, and she also suffers constant urinary infections – that’s how she and Lola meet. The mother initially doesn´t object to the circumcision, but then she finds out another reason for her husband´s trip to Gambia, a second wife he has already “bought”…
CATALAN | Edicions 62
SPANISH | Espasa Calpe / Planeta
NORWEGIAN | Juritzen Forlag
PORTUGUESE (Brazil) | Revan
A wonderful, attractive and very well plotted novel about friendship between women under difficult circumstances and across different cultures.
«I cried reading it! It is intense, genuine and brave, without being at all demagogic. The reading flows seamlessly and the characters… you simply believe them, and love them.» Spanish Editor