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This blinding absence of light

By: Ben Jelloun, Tahar

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0141022825 / 9780141022826
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20 cm 195 p.
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This translation originally published: New York: New Press, 2002.

In this extraordinary non-fiction novel, based on a true story, Tahar Ben Jelloun traces the experiences of Salim who, in 1971, took part in a failed coup attempt to oust King Hassan II of Morocco.

With sixty others Salim was incarcerated in a secret prison complex in the Moroccan desert: he was to remain there for nearly twenty years.

In starkly eloquent, beautiful prose, Ben Jelloun relates the prisoners' experiences as they struggle to survive.

The son of a witty, feckless courtier who disowns him, Salim tells stories to keep sane from the suras of his beloved Koran to the plot of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Even in the darkest, most terrible conditions, sympathy, insight, the human quest for meaning and understanding, never desert Salim.

The resulting novel is a wrenching yet exquisite celebration of the human spirit and its determination to survive.

A masterpiece' Judges of the IMPAC award 'a sad and splendid book' New York Times Book Review


FA Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), FYT Fiction in translation


S 2006 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

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