God’s Bits of Wood
Characters (by region)
Bakayoko- Bakayoko is the novel's central character, in spite of the fact that he doesn't actually appear in person until more than two thirds of the way through. Until his return to the Thies / Bamako / Dakar region, (Chapter 16), his presence is theoretical and inspirational rather than physical, his beliefs and actions defining choices for both pro- and anti- strikers, for both those who respect him and those who don't. In short, even while the narrative line is defined by the actions and circumstances of other characters, Bakayoko is a constant presence, undeniably a leader, and a profoundly complex human being, simultaneously idealistic and pragmatic, restrained and passionate, charismatic and reserved, and personally arrogant. Beaugosse (Daouda): educated; in love with N'Deye touti; quits union and RR and allies with. ('Beaugosse' meaning 'pretty boy’ in French, but without the homosexual overtones these words have in English. In other words, somebody 'dressed to impress'). Deune: husband of Bineta and Mame Sofi.
Arona: a "true believer" (devout Muslim)
Alioune: head of Dakar local of RR Union.
Ramatoulaye: head of large family clan centered at her 'compound', N'Diayene. Mame Sofi and Bineta: both are wifes of Deune. Houdia M'Baye: widow of Badiane (killed in first fighting in strike); 9 children including Anta; Abdou; N'Dolé; Strike. N'Deye Touti: member of Ramatoulaye's household (calls Rama "aunt"). Educated; in love with Bakayoko. One of the central characters of the novel. OTHERS
Abdoulaye: head of Dakar section of CGT (the French trade union confederation, like the AFL-CIO, only heavily, though not exclusively, Communist). Imam: Muslim priest; strongly with company and French and anti-strike. Gaye: head of Dakar CGT union.
El Hadji Mabigue: wealthy, brother of Rama (stole her family allotment, or inheritance, by claiming she was...