#Article (Archive)

A Literary Revelation

Nov 19, 2008, 6:03 AM

Last Friday, an ambitious Gambian lady came out of the blue and took the literary scene by storm with the launch of her first book - Teenage Life Crisis. She is Ngasireh Irene Touray. Though we haven't seen the book yet to assess its literary merit, we appreciate Miss Touray's drive and self-motivation.

It takes a lot to write a book; someone has described writing a book as a full-time job. That means it's a lot of hard work. So if with all the distractions around, Miss Touray is able to discipline herself to come up with a book, she ought to be commended. We don't expect Teenage Life Crisis to be a perfect book - there is no such thing as a perfect book, anyway. We just have to write and learn from our flaws. It is all part of the learning experience all writers have to go through to gain mastery of the craft.

If Ngasireh Irene Touray had waited for inspiration to visit her before putting to paper, she would have waited until the end of times. Inspiration comes only those who apply themselves. Those who sleep and daydream about some muses coming to awaken their literary talent are simply deceiving themselves.If you want to write, then you have to write without fail.

Ms Touray's accomplishment has given us hope that our literary heritage is not about to die out. At a point, it looks as if the literary scene was dominated by a few names who are already over the hill. The publication of Ms Touray's book signposts the emergence of new young voices on our literary landscape. This is something to relish. We hope others will follow in her footsteps and enrich our literary heritage.

What the likes of Ms Touray need now is encouragement. One way of encouraging them is to buy their books. Then, government should try to set up a reputable publishing firm in the company where aspiring writers can easily be published. Preferably, the University of The Gambia (UTG) should be in the forefront of serious publishing in this country. Elsewhere, universities have publishing houses that are into full-fledged publishing, not some roadside printing as we have in this country. If we have such an organisation in place at the UTG, then budding writers could easily see their manuscripts being worked on by professionals who know what they are doing.

We would like to heartily congratulate Miss Ngasireh Irene Touray on the publication of her book and to tell her that her pen should not dry up!