A Country for Dying

Abdellah Taia (Author) Emma Ramadan (Translator)
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Product Details

Price
$16.95  $15.59
Publisher
Seven Stories Press
Publish Date
October 06, 2020
Pages
144
Dimensions
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.6 inches | 0.3 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781609809904

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About the Author

Born in Rabat, Morocco in 1973, Abdellah Taïa has written many novels, including Salvation Army, which he also made into an award-winning film, and Infidels (Seven Stories 2016), translated by Alison Strayer. He lives in Paris.

Translator Emma Ramadan is based in Providence, Rhode Island, where she co-owns Riffraff Bookstore and Bar. She's the recipient of an NEA fellowship, a Fulbright grant, and the 2018 Albertine Prize. Her translations include Anne Garréta's Sphinx and Not One Day, Virginie Despentes's Pretty Things, Ahmed Bouanani's The Shutters, and Marcus Malte's The Boy.

Reviews

"Abdellah Taïa dramatizes the reality of Zahira and Zannouba, Moroccan prostitutes in Paris, at sea in the stormy straits between the sexes and nationalities, estranged from their families but absorbed by their loves and fantasies; this is a cri de coeur and a cri de corps, heart and body crying in the lonely city." --Edmund White

"A Country for Dying is a knife of a novel--short, sharp, and jagged. Abdellah Taïa ruthlessly uses that knife to cut away sentimental notions of love, romance, family, and nation. He exposes how colonization has shaped sexual desire, expression, and exploitation, and leaves us with a memorable, powerful work." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

*"Immigrants in Paris seek political, economic, and sexual refuge in Taïa's heart-wrenching tale of postcolonial identity crisis (after Infidels). Zahira, a 45-year-old prostitute, is haunted by memories of her father's suicide in Morocco when she was a child, and of Allal, a possessive Moroccan who loved her decades earlier. In Paris, Zahira looks out for an Algerian protégé, Zannouba, on the eve of Zannouba's sex reassignment surgery, and Mojtaba, a gay Iranian dissident, whose innocence awakens Zahira's maternal instincts. For Zahira and others, solace eludes them in the form of lost or unrequited love, a theme Taïa distills in a nested story of Zahira's vanished aunt, Zineb. Enlisted by the French to service soldiers in 1950s Indochina, Zineb is left adrift between the family she's left behind and a love she can only sell. Taïa's blunt style is shot through with an immediacy accenting the high stakes for those chased across borders and running from their own pasts ("You thought you had fled our world," says Allal). But Zahira is not free, and Allal has not forgotten her; he is coming now to Paris, planning to kill her. In the churning gears of this compact, deeply moving novel, crises of identity prove more solvable than those of the heart." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Abdellah Taïa is one of the most original and necessary voices in world literature. ... With each novel Taïa grows as an artist and expands our knowledge of what it means to be an outsider inside the Muslim world." --David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife