Teacher Guide

So Long a Letter Lesson Plan

Introduction to So Long a Letter

So Long a Letter (Une si longue lettre) is an epistolary novel by Senegalese writer Mariama Bâ. Originally written in French in 1979, it was among the first Francophone literary works written by women in Senegal. The semi-autobiographical novel recounts the story of Ramatoulaye Fall while she is observing a ritual mourning period for her husband, Modou. After 30 years of marriage (and 12 children), Modou betrayed Ramatoulaye by taking a second, much younger, wife.

Key Aspects of So Long a Letter


Throughout the novel, Ramatoulaye's tone is warm and nostalgic towards Aissatou, to whom she is writing.


The novel is set in Senegal during the early years of its independence.


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