Ambiguous Adventure, originally titled L'Aventure ambiguë, is a novel by Senegalese author Cheikh Hamidou Kane. It was originally published in 1961 in the author's native language.
The novel is about the interaction between the cultures of Africa and the west, along with the influence that they have on one another. The main character of the novel, also functioning as its hero, is a boy that is from the Diallobé region of Senegal. This boy travels to France to continue his studies, and in this process, he begins to lose touch with his Islamic faith and cultural beliefs.
Upon its release, the novel received very positive critical reviews, regardless of the small number of total critics reviewing it. The book is especially praised for the in-depth explanation that it gives of the beliefs that the main character begins to abandon, and how it sends a message that emphasizes the importance of one being able to choose their own beliefs and cultures.
The novel is often referenced as a concept of a post-colonialist work, as it displays the effects of the clash between two different cultures and the many difficulties of integrating them. It is often compared to works by other African authors such as Chinua Achebe, Camara Laye, and Ayi Kwei Armah. Ambiguous Adventure is seen as a classic of African literature and has been translated into many languages, including English, French, Spanish, and German. It is also often used as a teaching tool in many African literature courses.
After receiving mild popularity and critical success, Ambiguous Adventure was translated into English in early 1963. In 1972, this translation of the novel was included as a part of the Heinemann African Writers Series, a series that can be very influential. Were it not for this inclusion, the film would not have reached the majority of the American audiences that it did.