Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu

By far the most widely read and studied of Sembene’s novels, God’s bits of wood is a fictionalized reconstruction of the railroad workers’ strike in 1947that for months paralyzed traffic between Bamako, Thies, and Dakar. A celebration of the people’s power and determination to control their own destiny, this work has also been hailed by critics as one of the first African novels to formulate the idea of women as active agents in the historical process of liberating (politically, economically, and culturally) the African continent,. Most of all, the novel depicts the different changes that can affect an entire people engaged in a fight to free themselves from foreign exploitstion.

Critical Works

Abdurrahman, Umar. “Daughters of Dissident: Women as Warriors in Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood.” Ufahamu: African Studies Journal 30 (2004): 169-87.

Abety, Peter A. “Women Activists in Ayi Kwei Armah's ‘Two Thousand Seasons’ and Ousmane Sembène's ‘God's Bits of Wood’: A Study of the Role of Women in the Liberation Struggle.” Bridges: An African Journal of English Studies/Revue Africaine d'Etudes Anglaises (Dec. 1992): 19-33.

Aguiar, Marian. “Smoke on the Savannah: Traveling Modernity in Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood.” Modern Fiction Studies Summer 2003: 284-305.

Ahmad-Slavin, Fawzia. “Ousmane Sembène's ‘Les Bouts de bois de Dieu’: The Mechanics of Change” LitteRealite 1995; 7 (1-2): 49-61.