|The Radiance of the King |
(Le Regard du Roi),
translated by James Kirkup
Laye was born in 1928, in Guinea, to the Malinke tribe, and later went to study in France where he lived through both great solitude and poverty. His political commitment was deep. Some years after he returned, he was imprisoned by Sekou Toure, and later spent most of his life in Senegal under the protection of Leopold Senghor, till his death in 1980.
Laye's protagonist is the Frenchman Clarence who has come to the African continent on a mission whose reason is never divulged. He loses all his money in gambling with other white men, and is left with no option but to seek employment with the king.