Camara Laye was born in Kouroussa in what was then Upper Guinea in 1928. His family was Malinke. He was the eldest of twelve children. His father and his mother’s father were both blacksmiths. It was his father who accepted the inevitable and sent him to the French school in Conakry, where he earned a scholarship to go to France to study automobile engineering. When he obtained his diploma, he stayed on in France, doing various jobs to earn a living. He became involved with the Négritude movement and published his first two novels. He then returned to Africa but not immediately to Guinea, working in Dahomey (Benin) and Ghana. When Guinea became independent, he returned there and subsequently held various government positions. However, as repression increased, he decided to leave and spent the rest of his life in Dakar, where he died in 1980. It has since been suggested that he is not the author of his first two novels, though this has been challenged. Note that Camara is his surname and Laye his first name but I have put it the other way around as that is how it is normally put in Europe/North America.
1953 L’enfant noir (The African Child; US: The Dark Child)
1954 Le regard du roi (The Radiance of the King)
1966 Dramouss (A Dream of Africa)
1978 Le maître de la parole (The Guardian of the Word)