"The Dark Child" is a vivid and graceful memoir of Camara Laye's youth in the village of Kouroussa, French Guinea, a place steeped in mystery. Laye marvels over his mother's supernatural powers, his father's distinction as the village goldsmith, and his own passage into manhood, which is marked by animistic beliefs and bloody rituals. Eventually, he must choose between this unique place and the academic success that lures him to distant cities. More than autobiography of one boy, this is the universal story of sacred traditions struggling against the encroachment of a modern world. A passionate and deeply affecting record, "The Dark Child" is a classic of African literature.