“A classic work of modernism—a signal work in the African canon and one that every lover of literature will admire and enjoy.”
—Henry Louis Gates Jr.
“One of the greatest of the African novels of the colonial period, Camara Laye’s The Radiance of the King has delighted and puzzled generations of readers inside and outside the continent. The delight is in the humor and elegance of the language and narrative. The puzzle lies in the book’s wonderfully unsettling end, which calls on us all to respond with an interpretation of our own.”
—Kwame Anthony Appiah
“Allegorical, Kafkaesque and African in a unique way; it is a powerful and disturbing exploration of exile, quest and reconciliation with a power greater than logic or reason.”
—The New York Times Book Review
[Laye’s work] belongs within the tradition of classic world literature, describing a personal and cultural dilemma in accents that speak to all mankind.
The Writings of Camara Laye
“[Laye’s] preoccupation with the possibilities of a deep spiritual experience which the African world seemed to him to offer constitutes the unifying point of view of all his work….[and] finds its supreme expression in Le Regard du Roi….a tour de force.
In Radiance of the King, Laye has written a book which we can read with enjoyment, amusement, and keen absorption, but which occupies the mind in such a way that new perceptions keep rising to its surface when the reading is over.