Aminata Sow Fall

Aminata Sow Fall bigraphy, stories - Senegalese writer

Aminata Sow Fall : biography

1941 –

Aminata Sow Fall is a Senegalese-born author. While her native language is Wolof, her books are written in French.


She was born 1941 in Saint-Louis, Senegal where she grew up before moving to Dakar to finish her secondary schooling. After this, she did a degree in Modern Languages in France and became a teacher upon returning to Senegal. She was a member of the Commission for Educational Reform responsible for the introduction of African literature into the French syllabus in Senegal, before becoming director of La Propriété littéraire (The Literary Property) in Dakar (1979-1988). She was appointed the first woman president of Senegal’s Writer’s Association in 1985. In 1990 she founded the publishing house Éditions Khoudia.


  • 1980 – Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire for La Grève des bàttu.
  • 1982 – Prix International Alioune Diop for L’Appel des arènes.
  • 1997 – honorary doctorate from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.


Her best known books include:

  • Le Revenant, Nouvelles éditions africaines, 1976
  • La Grève des bàttu (1979); Nouvelles éditions africaines, 1980; Serpent à plumes (paperback 2001), ISBN 2-84261-250-7
    • The Beggars’ Strike, trans. Dorothy Blair, Longman (1986), ISBN 0-582-00243-5
  • L’Appel des arènes (The Call of the Arena) (1982); Nouvelles éditions africaines, 1993
  • Ex-père de la nation: roman, L’Harmattan, 1987
  • Douceurs du bercail, Nouvelles Editions ivoiriennes, 1998
  • Le jujubier du patriarche: roman, Serpent à Plumes, 1998

The film Battu (2000) by director Cheick Oumar Sissoko is based on her novel La Grève des bàttu.